Today (Sunday or Monday - Monday here in New Zealand) seems an auspicious day and this seems an auspicious hemisphere (southern) in which to float a new concept.
This week at the DEANZ conference I shall be talking in a more public forum about the Multeversity - up to now this has only been in some online seminars and presentations to specific institutions and projects over the last few months.
The Multeversity (then called "Multiversity") started off life as an analytic container to bring together a lot of my work on virtual universities, colleges and schools over the last four years, but as I got into a number of related projects (OER, retention, funding, VLEs, etc) my former worries about the long-term health of the university sector began to surface again.
It should make best use of distance learning, web 3.0 technology and open educational resources to reduce the system cost (to government and student) of gaining a degree, while maintaining or even improving the quality (measured by international benchmarking where feasible) by appropriate (not obsessional) use of learner analytics including to increase the personalisation by data-driven AI. Fostering of social skills and the 21st century skills relevant to employers and citizens should not be neglected.
So distance learning, OER, learner analytics, semantic web etc will be “recommended” approaches but not “mandatory” requirements. Apologies to all the single-issue zealots and groups out there!
I truly hope that governments or companies or foundations will in time endow several of these universities across the world - the locations to be decided by competitive bidding from countries.
University-level education (broadly constructed) would be the core mission of the Multeversity but we need to assess the value of including vocational and professional education (including teacher training) as well as better facilitation of the school-university transition (preparatory courses, credit recovery, fast study of missing material from school etc)
Note: the middle e is deliberate - thanks to Terence Karran for the suggestion, to distinguish the concept from various disorganised meanings in the past.
Paul Bacsich on 9 April 2011