Publishing giant Pearson looks set to offer degrees

Hannah Richardson, BBC News, Dec 16, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

More on the move by Pearson to offer its own degrees. The company, which owns its own testing unit (de rigueur among publishers these days), wants to offer the degrees directly, which will require a change in law - and while such a change would effectively break the colleges' monopoly on degree-granting status, might keep the monopoly to a large degree intact, opening it only to sufficiently large (or well-connected) corporations. The company is arguing that the move will save money, keeping the cost "to a level acceptable to the majority" while the existing institutions are arguing that "the pursuit of profit is incompatible with the maintenance of high standards in higher education." This, folks, is the story of the year, even though it broke in mid-December, well after most 'story of the year' lists have been compiled.
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