The future of the University of California may look a lot like what's in front of your eyes right now.
Speaking to Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson, the school's departing president, Mark Yudof, said public universities may depend on online courses for their survival.
"I think in the case of the University of California, in a few years, probably four, five, or six courses will be taken online on your way to an undergraduate degree," said Yudof. "We'll make more use of e-learning."
In January, Yudof announced his departure at the end of this academic year and he has been giving interviews about his experiences there.
The university already offers some courses online. But Yudof said that the university is just beginning to figure out the right way of teaching over the internet.
You don't want a camera in the back of the classroom with a professor droning on in his traditional lecture. You know, you want Pixar or someone like that to really fix it up. As for the MOOC's (Massive Open Online Learning), I think we're at the ground level on this. I mean, if you give me $20 million and I can offer a course for free and I have no degrees, no certificates, no assessments, and most of the students drop out before we complete it, I don't consider that a triumph for higher education. It's good that it's available and it's open, but we have to have a business model that works for real people and is self-sustaining."
More and more people want to attend the university. The number of California students who applied for admission as freshmen grew by 6.2 percent over last year for a total of 99,129, a new record, the school reported in January.