Rethinking the business model of schools is happening at every level of education, especially in higher ed where the current tuition trends are unsustainable and even disgraceful. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that between 2000 and 2011, fees for undergraduate tuition, room, and board at public universities in the U.S. rose 42%!
How can a school better utilize its assets and core competencies to produce new sources of revenue and efficiencies? Schools will accelerate experimentation over the next few years with a variety of different approaches to answer this question.
For example, according to the Wall Street Journal ("Online Class Aims to Earn Millions," by Douglas Belkin, Aug 31, 2013), two college professors from the University of Texas at Austin plan to teach their Introduction to Psychology class to thousands of students around the world for an enrollment fee of $550. The class started last week with Profs. Gosling and Pennebaker providing live online lectures to approximately 1,000 students. The revenue will be split between the university and the psychology department.
Higher Student:Teacher Ratios
If your school has great teachers and can use technology to streamline the instructional process and increase the number of students influenced by those great teachers, why not? Isn't that the goal of every master teacher--to inspire great thinking and changed lives? A well-planned technology implementation for instruction, operations, assessment, and administration can improve the quality of life for teachers and their capacity to teach more students. This isn't about piling on more work for teachers, but rather reorganizing for better performance and paying teachers commensurate increases in salary.
Well over one million foreign students are enrolled in the U.S. this year. But that's a very small number compared to the multimillions of students who study in their home country but could benefit from access to your teachers. Consider using a tool like Jigsaw Meeting to provide online instruction to students anywhere in the world. Our School Growth team will be using Jigsaw Meeting for our online Board Academy and for our Intelligent Reader & Writer classes. Blended learning with this kind of platform gives you the opportunity to cost-effectively expand your marketplace and diversify the experience for local students.
"The modern university was set up 300 years ago, but it's a completely different time now. You have to shake yourself free of all that and stumble forward and keep tinkering."--Prof. Gosling.