We are celebrating 40th anniversary of Internet. Internet has changed so many things. There is no barrier to information. Information is free. People can learn anything from the net if they want to. This brings change to change in the identity of universities.
What happens to schools, when you can connect online and get the knowledge you desire to have? What about all the monopoly and bureaucracy an university has hold over information for the past decade?
It seems that universities has to identify their identities in this digital area where information is reachable and not for a bunch of people like in the past.
The past years have seen the university advance into and simultaneously condition the information economy, by the connection between intellectual property, publishing, the information of labour, and the commercially driven practices of the university. Their income has started to come from consultancies, and commercial applications.
This has resulted into neoliberalism, with its structure of outsourcing, privatization, and dissembling of institutional frameworks. This is an example for Networks organized.
These Networks have been fantastic at developing educational resources such as documentation of open source software, course materials, etc. It is surprising that you can find Stanford’s, Oxford’s even Harvard’s lecture notes, even videos on the internet. One can wonder if everything is so open, how will they generate the income they need to survive?
It has always been an issue on the internet, if people will be willing to pay online for information they desire. I think this is a strategy issue. If these wellknown universities continue to publish their lectures online for free (which I am very happy about indeed), it will be hard fort hem to demand for fees in the future. It is important for them that before losing their well known name (brand) ,which has taken decades to form, to demand for a fee in return for a well structured lectures.
As a result, we can say that organised Networks in the end, have no choice but to come up with business models.