By The Editors
In the last few days, a so-called “bold move” has generated lots of discussion in the higher education community – someone (or more than one) says that the “bold move” has actually generated shock. Others call the move “revolutionary”.
Question: What is the “bold move” we’re referring to? Answer: A very special announcement.
Georgia Tech and Udacity, in collaboration with AT&T, will offer a sought-after graduate computer science degree, traditionally offered on the Georgia Tech campus, through online instruction. What brings shock, though, is not the online format, but the cost — the degree (a fully accredited Georgia Tech degree) will cost about 80% less than the current on campus curriculum (we’re talking about $ 7,000 versus about $ 40,000). The program will be offered for the first time in the Fall of 2014. Yes, the partnership of Georgia Tech, Udacity and AT&T is innovative, but more innovative is the cost.
And, for what the global fool is concerned, online + low cost will make the program global.
The Georgia Tech College of Computing OMS CS brand new website starts with the following sentence: “The Georgia Institute of Technology, Udacity and AT&T have teamed up to offer the first accredited Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) that students can earn exclusively through the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) delivery format and for a fraction of the cost of traditional, on-campus programs.” — yes, the cost factor is in the first sentence…..
It goes on to say: “This collaboration brings together leaders in education, MOOCs and industry to apply the disruptive power of massively open online teaching to widen the pipeline of high-quality, educated talent needed in computer science fields.” (bold and italics are mine)
In few more sentences, the description manages to communicate the “revolutionary” aspect of this enterprise.
The announcement by Sebastian Thrun, a co-founder of Udacity, is for sure worth reading – he compares this moment to the one he proposed to his wife. The entire announcement, though, conveys how the individuals involved in this enterprise feel like true visionaries and revolutionaries – and perhaps they are.
Between vision and revolution, the higher education community is shaken.