More University Students Studying Online

Soon universities and colleges made of bricks, stone and concrete with be a thing of the past as young and old turn to the Internet to get their degrees. Leading Australian universities are trying to "buck the trend" by not offering online course, but if they don't change their student enrolments will fall. Initially it was mature age students who chose to study online; now more of the young are studying this way as well.

Next year the restriction on the number of places Australian universities can offer will be abolished. The market will open up as institutions will be able to offer as many openings as they want. With no investment in new buildings planned new offering have to be online. Charles Sturt University already has two-thirds of its students studying online with growth at 14 per cent a year.

For many, the only time they will set foot on a university campus will be to receive their degrees. Lecturers will no longer be able to hide their heads in text books. They will have to be up-to-date on journal articles and world happenings and be virtual entertainers because their recorded lectures will have to be interesting to hold student attention. The days of the stuffy, tweed-dressed professor bonded by a guaranteed, safe contract to a university are numbered.

A problem will persist for some time, however. Access to information is tied to academic books and journals only accessible in a physical library. University libraries will have to make these publications available online to registered students. This will mean that all journal article will have to be scanned and stored, and the latest books written by specialists must be available in eBook form.
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