Mon. May 16th, 2022

Globalization is a hot topic in the media and in business these days. The Levin Institute at the State University of New York defines globalization as “a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology” [1]. The Internet has been one of those information technology innovations that has ushered in a new era of global communications and commerce. It has enabled call centers in India, for instance, to service calls for clients originating anywhere in the world at hyper-competitive rates. Globalization has redefined entire industries and the web has lead the revolution in many cases.

Now consider what the Internet has done for higher education. Today, it’s possible for someone to complete an entire degree program from practically anywhere on the planet as long as there’s access to a computer and a network connection. Whether you’re a busy professional or a stay-at-home mother, there’s no reason why you can’t have access to a decent college education. This should come as no surprise unless you have been living isolated from technology. Why does this warrant another look? The cost of education is growing at an unsustainable pace. This inflationary pressure has given many reason for pause and reflection causing some to fore-go college altogether. This is especially troublesome for the knowledge economy that depends on a highly educated work force.

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According to the College Board, in the United States 2011-12 school year, the average cost of in-state tuition at a four-year public university is $8,244 USD, or a 7.0% increase from the previous year. Based on this estimate, assuming one graduates within 4 years, the total cost of a college education will be $32,976 USD (or $41,220 USD for 5 years). Tuition has increased at an average rate of 5.6% per year above the general rate of inflation in the United States during the last decade and shows no sign of abatement [2]. The global recession has forced governments everywhere to implement austerity measures to compensate for lost tax revenue; higher education has been a victim of those cuts. It’s happening all over, even in Europe where entry has been purely merit-based requiring the student to pay little, if any, of the cost. The United Kingdom has recently seen the introduction of fees. The cost of maintaining these institutions of higher learning is being passed on to students in the form of higher tuition and student loan debt, which will cripple future economic growth. Traditionally, brick and mortar institutions have been limited by physical classroom space and in order to ensure access to the best and brightest, admission standards were put into effect. But tougher admission requirements translates into reduced access. In contrast, cyberspace has changed this dynamic enabling nearly unlimited access and the potential for leveraging economies of scale.

Let’s look at a few online degree programs developed by institutions around the world and their estimated costs in United States dollars (USD) (at today’s exchange rate, some programs are at a fixed exchange). It shouldn’t be implied to be an exhaustive or even comparative list of degree programs. Its purpose is to get one thinking about possibilities of online programs in a global rather than regional context.

Western Governors University (United States)

 

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Estimated Total Cost: $18,210 USD ($3,035 USD per term for 6 terms)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Estimated Total Cost: $25,500 USD ($4,250 USD per term for 6 terms)

 

Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh Business School) (Scotland, United Kingdom)

  • Master of Business Administration (General) – 9 Courses – Estimated Total Cost: $13,005 USD ($1,445 USD x 9 Courses)
  • Master of Business Administration (with Specialism in Marketing, Human Resources, Strategic Planning or Finance) – 11 Courses – Estimated Total Cost: $15,895 USD ($1,445 USD x 11 courses)

 

Central Queensland University (Australia)

  • Bachelor of Accounting – Estimated Total Cost: $10,275 USD

 

University of South Africa (UNISA) (South Africa)

  • Certificate in International Marketing – Estimated Total Cost: $1,100 USD
  • Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Financial Management – Estimated Total Cost: $10,000 USD

By rahul