By Sara Grossman
The spread of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, is “credit positive” for universities that offer them but “credit negative” for a majority of lesser-known institutions that lack a prominent brand name, according to a report published on Monday by Moody’s Investors Service.
The announcement comes a year after the credit-rating agency predicted that MOOCs could improve the financial prospects of large research universities while presenting challenges to smaller institutions and for-profit colleges.
The latest report, available only to Moody’s subscribers, says that, among other things, MOOCs offer colleges and universities increased global brand recognition, new revenue opportunities, and a chance to improve instruction methods. The report also warns that smaller liberal-arts institutions could be left behind, as they lack the resources to compete with better-known universities.
Karen Kedem, a vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s, emphasized that being credit positive or negative does not mean an actual change in credit rating, but is merely a comment on the potential impact of massive online courses on an institution’s credit rating. She said no university had had its credit rating downgraded for not offering a MOOC.
[ Full article available at The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/moodys-says-moocs-could-boost-a-universitys-credit-rating/44519 ]