Stanford decides to be Wal-Mart; doesn't anyone care about quality education any more?

Roger Schank, e-Learning Leadership Blog, Jun 18, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

OK, if this is to be the argument against MOOCs, then universities and their professors are in trouble. Here's the argument: "I am sure, that Stanford itself won’t give the stuff they produce to it’s own students. No one calls this racism (or classism), but it is education for poor people, just as Wal-Mart is focused on poor people. Stanford students won’t eat what Stanford sells to others, but it is selling it like mad to those folks who will never see Palo Alto and will never access a real Stanford education."

Let's ask, for a moment, what it would cost to provide a 'Stanford' education for everyone. It costs about $54.5K per year to attend Stanford as an undergraduate. The world population for ages 20-24 is 596.3M (it's about the same for any 4-year span of people that age). That yields a total cost of $32.5 trillion dollars per year. That's more than the combined GDPs of the G8 nations, plus China and India. There isn't enough money in the world to give everyone a Stanford education. That is why we need cheaper alternatives. Stupid arguments like the one offered here by Roger Schank need not apply.

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