Fareed Zakaria, TIME's editor at large, opened the TIME Summit on Higher Education on Thursday evening in New York City by reminding his audience that "eight of our top 10 universities in the world are American.
Zakaria launched the discussion by noting that up till now, the method of university instruction hadn’t changed much since Aristotle. But with the advent of low-cost or free MOOCs, we are ”achieving scale on an unimaginable level. Hundreds of thousands of people able to take a single course but also customization on a scale that’s unimaginable.”
And, businesses will adapt to the new technology and accept online classes as qualifications for employees, said Norman Augustine. The name of the school doesn’t matters as much as results. ”If you ask me what school most of my colleagues went to, I don’t have the faintest idea. That question is what do they contribute?”
He joked that though his answer might not be very popular among academics, MOOCs could easily be the future. “The test will be, what do people learn and what do they know,” he said.