Contrary to what some may claim, there is a very real digital divide -- an inequity between those who have regular, reliable access to the internet and digital technologies and those who do not -- that makes basic access to online courses more problematic for some groups.
Before falling for glittery corporate discourse about the glory of online higher education, more analysis of profit potential and the true motivation behind this sector is not just needed but critical. The future of higher education, and taxpayer dollars, depend on it.
Many adult learners enrolling online for the first time may be somewhat apprehensive about online education. After all, their only experience of learning has been in traditional, face-to-face settings. Other adult learners expect it to be fun, fast, and friendly.
The recent tragedy of the stampeding death of a prospective student's mother and the mile-long line for individuals looking for last-chance spots at South Africa's public universities serves to highlight the importance of opening access to higher education.