Saylor.org: zero-cost alternative to higher education

Another initiative (US-based, non-profit) to provide alternatives to universities, based around Open CourseWare. Saylor covers a good range of course areas, though “while we may try to obtain accreditation in the future, at present, Saylor.org is not an accredited institution and does not confer degrees of any kind”. There’s a good appreciation by Stian Haklev here http://reganmian.net/blog/2011/03/25/open-course-done-right-saylor-foundation/ Do you know of other examples in Europe or other non-US regions?

Clipped from www.saylor.org

Our Vision

We believe that everyone, everywhere should have access to a college education. This website will serve as a zero-cost alternative to those that lack the resources to attend traditional brick-and-mortar institutions and, if they are willing, a complement to mainstream education providers. We expect free, asynchronous, web-based learning opportunities to motivate people to pursue personal growth and career ambitions as well as lead to institutional change amongst education providers everywhere.

We recognize that the rich experience of attending a traditional brick-and-mortar institution can never be fully replicated in a virtual setting. There are, for example, no online substitutes for the benefits of face-to-face interaction with peers in a classroom or during office hours with a professor. In recognizing these limitation, we offer our online programs as a cost-free alternative path for those who are unable to access a traditional education.

Our Mission

The mission of the Saylor Foundation is to make education freely available to all. Guided by the belief that technology has the potential to circumvent barriers that prevent many individuals from participating in traditional schooling models, the Foundation is committed to developing and advancing inventive and effective ways of harnessing technology in order to drive the cost of education down to zero.

Our Strategy

While a number of serious obstacles make it difficult for many people to enroll in college classes and complete program requirements (e.g., physical distance to a campus and fixed class schedules), we believe that rising costs—tuition, fees, and textbooks—are the most significant barriers. By developing, soliciting, and disseminating free online academic materials in a structured and intuitive format, we will be an alternative and a complement to mainstream education providers, especially for students who cannot take advantage of educational opportunities because they cannot afford them.

Thanks to advances in technology, elements of the traditional educational experience can be replicated online and accessed from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. We have developed a structured and intuitive format for content delivery and are currently working to identify, develop, and organize the material a student needs to know in order to earn the equivalent of a degree in any of the top ten majors in the United States.

Our current focus is on the undergraduate college level with the goal of producing high course and program completion rates. We intend to focus on the primary, secondary, and post-graduate levels in the future.

Read more at www.saylor.org

 

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