Openness: Decoupling the Future to Radically Improve Access to Education

Abstract

The costs of higher education are soaring for a variety of reasons. A significant factor that will continue to drive costs over the next two decades is that the number of students trying to enter our institutions will double. Obviously, we cannot double the number of universities in the world in the next 20 years, so how will we increase supply to meet this exploding demand? Or will 150 million potential students who long for a postsecondary experience go unserved?

The idea of openness, popularized by open source and open educational resources, pertains to more than just software and textbooks. In this session, we will briefly explore issues related to the affordability and availability of higher education, examine how the principle of openness is already making concrete improvements in these areas, and discuss future models for radically improving access suggested by current trends.

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