Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Free tuition worldwide... courtesy Israel

The kind folks at the Canada-Israel Committee just sent out their weekly fun fact. Seems a prominent Israeli entrepreneur/philanthropist has decided to provide higher learning online, to the intellectually curious of the world. For free. Here's the CIC blurb:

Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef is launching the first global, tuition-free Internet university. Reshef, who has founded several successful Internet-based education businesses, is calling his nonprofit venture the "University of the People."

For the full story, have a peek at NYT's article here.

It's a pretty cool concept. He basically wants to use social networking technology and expand on it as an educational tool.

How he's going to teach practical basket-weaving, I dunno.

There's also some question as to how to ensure quality education and secure accreditation with existing, non-virtual institutions.

Still, Reshef is taking the pioneering lead on this.

I guess it raises the question: if all those unions and anti-Israel supporters out there keep calling for boycotts of Israel's academia, what happens when said academics are not really from Israel, but rather, from the global community, teaching online to millions of students? Tough to boycott the Internet.

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