Open University as a future role model

The online headline has changed. It was "What sort of role-models are Oxford and Cambridge" as in the printed version this morning. Now online it is "Change needed for Oxford and Cambridge to remain leaders". The original question is more interesting. Is there a model that others could follow? Probably not, tutorials person to person are very expensive. The model only works if they carry on getting more of the available budget.

I am interested by the following papragraph

There are three possible reactions to this display of difference. The first is simply to accept that Oxford and Cambridge are different. So they should be protected and nurtured as part of the diverse ecology of British higher education – an argument that can equally well be applied to the Royal College of Art, the Open University, Birkbeck..

Should the Open University be seen as just another curiosity? They had a model of distance learning, now extended to the Web. However they score in research assessment exercises, e-learning is something they know about so the research is convincing. For a role model, the OU could be a useful place to look. The medieval methods were not designed to scale.

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