The University news feature on page 28 of the current Private Eye (No. 1341, 31 May – 13 June 2013) focuses on MOOCs – “massive open online courses”. Several prominent universities are offering these courses free of charge to anyone, anywhere with internet access. Many people are only likely to stumble upon these courses if they’re directed to them, but the options seem very attractive in light of rising fees in higher education and a decline in participation by mature students.
The article includes statistics that are surprising in this context and very disappointing if taken at face value.
- Only 10% of people who start short courses with Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/) ever finish them. (Source: New York Times)
- There was an average completion rate of just 6.8% for students on 29 MOOCs run by prestigious universities in various countries (Source: Katy Jordan, PhD student at the Open University)
- A mere 2.2% of people who enrolled on a…
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