Interview: Jon Marcus talks about free universities and their impact

Jon Marcus, a contributing editor at The Hechinger Report, recently had an article in The Washington Post about how a wave of free online universities could change the traditional U.S. higher education system.

From his story:

Several new companies and organizations with impressive pedigrees are harnessing the Internet to provide college courses for free, or for next to nothing. And while many traditional universities are slowing this trend by refusing to give academic credit toward degrees to students who complete such programs, several no- and low-cost startups are doing an end-run around this monopoly by inventing new kinds of credentials that employers may consider just as good.

“If I were the universities, I might be a little nervous,” said Alana Harrington, director of, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit established by entrepreneur Michael Saylor that offers 200 free online college courses in 12 majors.

On Friday, January 27th, Marcus spoke on the Here and Now radio program, on Boston’s WBUR, about his story and what he learned.

WBUR also has an interview with Shai Reshef, founder of The University of the People.

POSTED BY ON January 30, 2012