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  • A legal home for California’s MOOCs

    - It’s a ‘single purpose vehicle’, the new university proposed in the State of California. No tuition, no faculty, no bureaucracy, just a lean structure to certify online learning.

    With a recently introduced bill for establishing a ‘New University of California’, the state legislature might create legal framework for online education by Udacity and EdX. The bill is currently waiting for review by the Assembly Committee on Higher Education.

    The ‘New University of California’ adds a potential fourth segment in California’s higher education system, which currently consists of the UC, the CSU and California’s community colleges.

    Credits lacking

    California State Assembly Member Scott Wilk - who introduced the bill - said: “It exists for a single purpose: to certify by examination that an individual has acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to compete and succeed in the work force. It has no tuition, no faculty, and no bureaucracy.”

    The creation of the ‘New University of California’ comes at a time that online education is rife, but academic credits for these courses are lacking. Students would only be charged a small fee to finance the administration of exams.

    “This bill would allow students to use whatever approach works best for them to obtain the knowledge needed to receive a college education, whether that is online courses, paid courses, or self-directed study,” commented Wilk

    Critique by students

    Student leaders have expressed mixed reactions to the bill.  “I think the problem is that, while there may be arguments saying that it is cheaper, it circumvents the problem that we are not currently funding our higher education system to where it should be”, said Nolan Pack.