Size Matters

Ultra-small colleges with full immersion into specific disciplines might may be a cost-effective alternative to more traditional private schools.

The University of Illinois’ Global Campus Initiative

Online education has largely been treated like a stepchild in the world of higher education. It gets a bit of food and some old clothes, but not much attention in comparison with the university’s real children. A new online initiative begun by the University of Illinois, however, may give this Cinderella a more prominent place than it has had before.

Announced last May, the Global Campus Initiative (GCI) is a remarkable university undertaking that should give online education more prominence. What’s more, the GCI is intended to be a profit-making venture and the startup capital will be raised from private sources. The tuition paid by students – and no breaks for Illinois residents – are expected to cover all costs. Implicitly, Illinois is saying, “We think we have an educational product that will pass the test of the market.” Very interesting, especially since several high-profile online education ventures have failed.