The Mooc (massive open online course) phenomenon is having a significant impact on higher education – especially business education, the Financial Times reports.

In less than two years, close to 100 leading universities and business schools have launched 450 costly Moocs and enrolled almost 5m students. Involving Wall Street and Silicon Valley as partners in these ventures, these business schools are changing the rules of competition. But they are doing so at the cost of eliminating their peers.

Those elite schools that are launching Moocs are creating a new standard for business education, in the same way they did with the case study teaching method decades ago.

Wide dissemination of knowledge to students is not new – as exemplified by books and textbooks. What is new, however, is the provision of individual learning paths to a massive number of students for free – which is disrupting the majority of business schools in the process.

Most business schools are typically standalone teaching institutions that depend on public funding and tuition revenues to survive.

… Moocs are a classic case of commoditisation of services, which generally leads to competition on prices and outsourcing. As is typically the case when a new phenomenon emerges, different business models emerge.

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