Sunday, November 21, 2004

What happened to the University?

During last week's eBay speaker, I surfed eBay's help pages to come across the eBay University which is linked through their help page. It offers courses on how to use eBay. I would have described such a class as a "workshop" or "seminar."

We've gone from The University of Phoenix Online to Kaplan University to Barnes and Noble University to eBay University. It's only a matter of time until we get Martha Stewart University and University of McDonald's and who knows what else.

My thoughts are that the popularity of online universities has led to anyone and everyone claiming what they want as a university. Without a regulatory structure, the web allows for what are traditionally respected institutions to become valueless.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan Traupman said...

There already is a University of McDonald's, actually called Hamburger University. It grants degrees in "Hamburgerology," if I remember correctly.

Companies have been calling training programs "XYZ University" for quite a while. I suppose people just think it sounds more impressive than "XYZ Corp. Employee Traning Center."

There are existing regulatory structures -- the accreditation boards (e.g. WASC for our area) -- that decide which institutions (online or otherwise) are Universities granting meaningful degrees and which are "Universities" handing out essentially worthless pieces of paper.

2:20 PM  
Blogger yardi said...

Well I'll be darned...
Hamburger University was founded in 1961 no less.
Their media webpage says that -

McDonald's trains so many people each year that we've surpassed the U.S. Army as the nation's largest training organization. Restaurant employees receive about 32 hours of training in their first month with McDonald's.

More than 5,800 students attend Hamburger University each year.
There were 73 weeks of classes conducted in 2002.

More than 73,000 students have graduated from Hamburger University.

And yes, you can get your Bachelor's in Hamburgerology

They also apparently started in January 2001 a 6-month fast-track Information Technology (IT) degree [in Hamburgerology?]

11:45 PM  

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