Higher Education

Is This an Opportunity to Get a Cheap Degree From a Top University?

Several Top Tier Universities Are Going Online — Are Tuition Fees Going Down?

Tiago Silva


Honey Yaniel, Unsplash

Top universities from around the world can be very expensive with tuition fees escalating to amounts not suitable for every wallet. Students and their families struggle to finance a college degree in countries like the USA where public and private institutions can price their courses at as much as $49 350 and $59 430, respectively. Executive educational programs and other specific offers can even go further.

But the global pandemic brought disruption to one of the sectors that needs it the most. Quarantined students had to keep learning, professors had to adapt to online teaching and schools had to reinvent themselves continuing with its mission of educating.

Students and their families struggle to finance a college degree

Universities are crucial institutions in our communities as they generate an incredible amount of value by educating future workers, developing regional ecosystems, fostering science & technology and promoting the creation of new ventures. These centenarian institutions whose operating model has changed slowly were defied by this wicked times where social distancing is crucial for controlling a global pandemic.

Having dozens of students sit closely to each other in class rooms and getting back to the campus’ life that oftentimes mean social gatherings, booze and proximity, might be a risky move.

The answer: Universities are going online, fellows!

Does this mean that quality education will get cheaper?

Some of the most renowned universities will take their classes fully online or in a mixed model between online and small physical gatherings as preferred by some Canadian universities like McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Montreal and University of Victoria. This new educational approach presents a set of challenges as students will not have access to the same resources and facilities they once had. You could infer that, for that reason, tuition fees would go down.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Berkeley, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge will implement online classes as the core methodology providing, in specific cases, physical classes to small groups.

“Harvard goes online, tuition costs unchanged”

It seems that these are challenging times for higher education institutions also as they keep tuition fees high. Education is an industry highly disruptable at the moment and now, more than ever, knowledge is spread and available — even for the greatest universities in the world. Accessibility came by the medium through which knowledge is transferred but there’s yet to come a more financially compelling offer.

Tiago Silva