Author: Ray Schroeder
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By Richard Williamson Paul Burton Shelly Sigo, Bond Buyer
With fewer high-school graduates and foreign students coming to class, the nation’s universities and colleges are turning to increasingly sophisticated and more affordable online courses to help fill the gap. The development of online education raises the question of whether it will evolve from a supplement to traditional in-person learning to something that supplants it. One expert on technological disruption even predicts that half of the nation’s 5,300 bricks-and-mortar colleges and universities could be closed in 10 to 15 years as a result. “The traditional college and university is imperiled,” said Subhash Kak, an Oklahoma State University professor of computer science and electrical engineering. The credit implications have not fully been baked in with rating agencies and analysts mixed on the future of the higher education sector — but they are talking about potential disruptions.