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Subject:  Re: WSJ: $10K College Degree Date:  10/17/2012  6:40 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  868243 of 902745

I think the future will be universities with jr/sr level and grad students. Fewer full-time faculty and probably less research -- unless the research beings in enough money to break even or more.

In Philadelphia, WHYY has a program that teaches jr college courses over their public TV channel at night. Students are supposed to tape the lectures and submit their homework by email. They can ask question or discuss course material with the teacher by email. This is ideally suited to the part time student who works. They do go on campus occasionally but those trips are minimized. I presume now you would get the lectures by internet at your own pace.

You can visualize a time when most students do the first two years at a junior college or with internet based courses. The successful research institutes (in sciences and medicine at least) often are supported by grants and use it to attract top rated faculty. They in turn rely on graduate students, post docs, and some undergraduates for manpower. Students benefit by working at a prestige university and spending time with that faculty and their advisers.

That works for sciences. I wonder how it works for the social sciences. Many owe their existence to teaching mass undergraduate courses. Their grad students get teaching assistantships. But if those courses go to junior colleges, how will they survive? Teaching internet courses seems likely.

It looks as if campus size is likely to get smaller as more is done electronically and universities need fewer classrooms. Will they also need fewer offices?

Universities need to downsize their physical size to reduce their overhead costs and adapt to the new reality.
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