The Future of MIT Education Looks More Global, Modular, and Flexible

Published in MIT News on August 4 by Steve Bradt, MIT News

The MIT education of the future is likely to be more global in its orientation and engagement, more modular and flexible in its offerings, and more open to experiments with new modes of learning.

Those are some themes of the 16 recommendations contained in the final report of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, convened 18 months ago by President L. Rafael Reif to envision the MIT of 2020 and beyond.

Reif released the Task Force’s final report today with a letter to the MIT community, saying the occasion “marks the beginning of an exciting new period of educational experimentation at MIT.” The report’s recommendations aim to lay the groundwork for MIT to reinvent education for future generations of learners both on its campus and beyond.

The past few years have brought mounting evidence that higher education stands at a crossroads,” Reif wrote. “As with any disruptive technology, MOOCs have been viewed with enthusiasm in many quarters and skepticism in some. However, the underlying facts are inarguable: that the rising cost of education, combined with the transformative potential of online teaching and learning technologies, presents a long-term challenge that no university can afford to ignore.”

“At MIT, we are choosing to meet this challenge directly by assessing the educational model that has served the Institute so well for so long,” Reif added. “We are experimenting boldly with ideas to enhance the education we offer our own students and to lower the barriers to access for learners around the world.”

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