By Naomi Powell for Times Higher Education
The National University of Ireland is considering a leap into accredited online education with the aim of uniting universities in the republic behind a single international brand.
The concept, to be examined in a feasibility study this year, would place participating universities under an NUI-branded umbrella organization with the aim of making a bigger splash in the rapidly evolving field of online education.
“We’re very conscious that we’re a very small speck on the perimeter of Western Europe in an area of globalization,” said Attracta Halpin, NUI’s registrar. “We need to pull together to have any kind of impact internationally.”
NUI’s four constituent universities (University College Dublin, University College Cork, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth) have all explored various methods of delivering education online. Irish universities have also made ventures into the world of massive open online courses pioneered by U.S.-based platforms such as Udacity, Coursera and edX.
The new organization, which would include Irish universities outside the NUI group, may begin by offering a series of MOOCs showcasing Irish education. Depending on the level of public interest, the organization could then move into profitable accredited programs, Halpin said. “You wouldn’t make money from MOOCs from what we can see,” she said. “But you might make money if you had accredited programs.”
[ Full article available at Inside Higher Ed: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/05/08/academics-ireland-hope-create-online-education-brand ]