Digital disruption lowers cost of pricey masters degrees

A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a pathway to complete part of the degree online at a steep discount, writes Tim Dodd for the Financial Review.

In a sign of digital disruption hitting higher education, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide and Curtin University are offering students the chance to do a quarter of a full masters degree at low cost through US-based massive open online course, or MOOC, provider edX which gives them a new credential called a MicroMasters. Students can then complete the degree at the regular cost, giving them at least a 20% discount overall.

Under the four universities' existing fee schedules, a quarter of a masters degree costs AU$10,000-AU$13,000 (US$7,700-US$10,000) but this falls to only AU$1,000-AU$1,500 when done through edX, a consortium founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, in 2012. The four Australian universities are among 22 around the world – including MIT and Columbia – that are using edX to offer a low-price route to a masters degree.
Full report on the Financial Review site