Breaking the Higher education Value Chain

The decoupling of activities in some models of the traditional value chain is seen as an opportunity for the creation of innovative business models. For example, in the higher education sector, analysts start talking about the possibility of breaking the traditional value chain, only performed by universities, as a model with high opportunities of disruption

Breaking the Higher-education Value Chain

The role of technology is fundamental to the creation of a new governance mechanism in a value chain. For example, in this case of the university education sector, teaching activity can be performed everywhere at any time. From this perspective, a university could ask students to take a course taught through a digital format in an university or educational provider many miles away from the original university. In addition, the assessment could be performed by a third provider also located at any country and eventually the original university could provide only the certification for students. The experiment of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is a first iteration of this new potential model and a number of important players (e.g., MIT, Harvard, the Coursera consortium, and Udacity) are testing new approaches and delivering new value propositions. The whole value chain is being transformed with traditional universities still trying to understand the possible business models that could emerge. In September 2016 Udacity, a company with a reported $1 billion valuation, announced a nanodegree programme in Engineering Self-Driving cars. This continued its successful nanodegree innovation which allows part-time study for certification at low cost and over a shorter period of time than a traditional degree qualification. By moving into a programme for the nascent industry in self-driving cars, Udacity showed how it could anticipate new markets and build new programmes rapidly enough to outpace traditional universities and to effect the formation of an industry. 

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