Universities without borders: do we need campuses in the age of Open CourseWare?

Is Open CourseWare a spiral of doom or virtuous circle for academies? glenn

Universities pride themselves on the quality of their teaching. They spruik superior teachers, superior facilities, superior learning experiences, superior learning outcomes. High scores on these four criteria will attract superior students, leading to a superior upwards spiral.

But what happens if open access is provided to that exclusive property? Could open learning co-exist with the pursuit of competitive, exclusive advantage?

It can, and it does.

Opening the academies

In an audacious step in 2001, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) made most of its teaching materials free, publicly accessible, reusable & remixable via a Creative Commons licence.

It gave much of its precious, and most prestigious, advantage to the world. Launching openness as a principle of institutional learning practice, MIT President Charles Vest said: