An invitation to the party of education

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EdX adds first non-university partners. New members include international organisations such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Mexican public broadcaster Televisión Educativa, as well as the Learning by Giving Foundation, the Linux Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. “We felt it was the right time to expand our membership structure, and to enable a more diverse group of members to come on board,” 

This is a long due invitation for non-university institutions into the education system. 

Who is the real consumer of education? To be a bit cynical, students are products coming out of the education system. The companies who employ students are the end consumers of the whole education product. They judge the quality of products and most of them are not happy with the outcomes. Universities ask students to absorb knowledge. Companies ask employers to apply knowledge. The objectives are not aligned.

To make education relevant, the eco-system shall include the end consumers of education (companies) to design the product. This is a rule of thumb – demand decides supply.

It is, however, extremely hard to implement this simple rule in the traditional universities. In most countries, the entry barrier to education is very high. You cannot setup a university as the way you setup a grocery store. It is also hard to change an established system.

With MOOC platforms such as EdX, it is different. You don’t need a government license to setup a MOOC platform. The eco-system is new so you can invite any party and see how it goes. If the government does not block your content in certain countries, you are facing a global student body.

It is going to be VERY different, which is a great news for those who know how to pivot.

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