Bill Gates suggests a change is coming in higher education

Bill Gates made a prediction about the future of higher education at a conference last Friday. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on Gates’ comments:

“Five years from now on the Web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university,” he argued at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, Calif. “College, except for the parties, needs to be less place-based.”

Gates went on to argue for a need to lower higher education costs and make such education more widely available. Also at the conference, Nicholas Negroponte claimed e-books will replace printed books  in five years.

There are clearly benefits to having class in-person but the rising cost of higher education will put pressure on schools to offer more Internet based classes.