Why Universities Need to Be Run Like Startups… Or Risk Becoming Obsolete

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Why Universities Need to Be Run Like Startups…
Or Risk Becoming Obsolete

Is The Golden age of universities over?

⅓ of students won’t finish college
Tuition has increased faster than inflation
Student debt is at an all time high
⅔ of students leave with debt
The bottom quintile is drowning in debt
The value of the Bachelors degree has fallen every years since 2000
⅔ of teachers are part time and non tenure track

Massive Open Online Courses are changing the face of higher education
They are free and open to anyone
Much more cost effective than the traditional college model
Will likely become increasingly accepted as legitimate course credit in the coming years
If Universities value isn’t in delivering content, what is the advantage of the traditional classroom model?

Culture and Innovation
University culture cannot be replicated online

Universities that prepare students for a creative economy prioritize the same three things that drive successful startup cultures:

1. Density
Physical proximity is important
Silicon wouldn’t have risen to preeminence without Stanford and Berkeley
Cultural connection brings entrepreneurial processes
Density is expensive:
To unleash the potential of density, communities need nurturing:
Bars
Eateries
Coffee shops
Housing
Universities foster this density
It is hard to top the collaborative potential of a thousand online students

2. Shared Resources
Education and innovation initiatives minimize expenses by pooling resources:
Co-working spaces
Labs
Prototyping facilities

Online Courses cannot teach biology with lab based exercises
This is an advantage of Universities, but they need to act on it:

Stop restricting access by department or major
Don’t tie use of facilities to intellectual property policies
Need to partner with other universities to enforce tuition differentials

3. Nurturing Communities
Websites vs campus communities
It is difficult to build relationships online
Universities foster real networking
Breaking down the silos of disciplines in the traditional university is key
Entrepreneurship students working with engineers
Designers working with computer information system majors
There are many areas that universities have the advantage
They just have to embrace them and act
Or risk becoming obsolete

universities startups

Sources:
http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2014/01/there-isnt-enough-money-to-keep-educating-adults-the-way-were-doing-it/#8230
http://www.wired.com/2014/03/universities-moocs-need-consider-culture/

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