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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Education, reshaped

Online studies have clear advantages. For all sides involved - the students, the professors and the universities.

The universities, because they can reduce their fees, but reach an audience that might live on the other side of the world.

The professors, who are able to reach out and become known to a wider audience.

The students, who in general get a high quality education for a cheaper price. And those working adults, who are pressured for time, but would like to upgrade their skills to stay competitive in the new economy - they also have a chance to foster further knowledge.

All this of course only, if a couple of crucial factors play well together. The university must have a great reputation to attract high class professors and a sufficient number of applicants. The technology must fit - first class broadband connection - nobody wants to study online with dial-up connection.

Well, it was a dream, for long, to have such online study course available, but it took a while to get the technology in place. Now it might become reality - and the tipping point might soon be reached.

Australian figures show that "student enrolments increased by more than 25 per cent this year. Undergraduate numbers grew by 27.3 per cent this year. Postgraduate numbers were up 96.3 per cent.

By contrast, demand at traditional universities in Victoria fell by 4 per cent this year while the number of full-fee-paying students rose ( (by the way, traditional unis are the ones bound to lose) .

Time-poor adults aged 31 to 55 were also keen.

About 82 per cent of working adults don't have a university degree -- yet increasingly they realise they need one to succeed in today's economy."

(By Asia Business Consulting)