The Guardian homeMoocs offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a truly European university, says Alex Katsomitros – and might be the only means of survival for smaller universities.
While Moocs (massive open online courses) are on the rise in the US, little has happened in the rest of the world, with the exception of Futurelearn, the Open University partnership consisting of 17 UK universities, as well as the Berlin-based iversity. At European Union level, there have been reports about talks at the European Commission, but little action has been taken so far. In May 2012, WiredAcademic reported that the EU's Erasmus programme might soon go online – a good start if we want to see the equivalent of Coursera on this side of the Atlantic. But this does not go far enough.
Higher education
is one of the few policy areas where European unification is seen positively by most stakeholders, despite the occasional problems caused by the Bologna process. The creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has benefited most institutions by enabling them to provide comparable and compatible qualifications and compete at an international level. The Erasmus programme also continues its success, with numbers of participating students steadily growing. Read more...