Global Demand for Borderless Online Degrees

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A high school diploma no longer qualifies graduates for employment because automation is eliminating the need for low-skilled jobs. Consequently, all nations must provide low-cost higher education that qualifies graduates to enter the workforce. In the European Union, higher education is affordable; in the United States, the explosive rise in the cost of higher education has students questioning whether the benefits justify the debt they will incur. In other parts of the world, the cost is not the issue; higher education is simply not available. The reason is that countries with weak economies lack the resources to build campuses and train teachers. Such nations are trapped in a debilitating spiral without the educational resources to create a skilled workforce that can attract industry. Increasingly desperate people have turned to mass migration, trying to escape to countries with stronger economies and better living conditions.

This book describes how to use a new synchronous pedagogy, fusion learning, to deliver affordable, accessible, postsecondary education throughout the world. There are opportunities for community colleges and public universities to offer borderless online degrees. The first e-learning market was dominated by large institutions and for-profits. The next market, borderless online degrees, will be democratic. There will be market opportunities for small institutions to compete. The timing is right.The international markets are ready, and online technology is now adequate. Changing economic conditions and political realities in developed nations make it both necessary and possible for traditional universities to become more entrepreneurial and enter international markets.


The research for this text began in the mid 90s when I created the distance learning at Florence-Darlington Technical College in South Carolina. At that time, we were able to take the pedagoy global with a FIPSE grant. Using T1 lines, we offered online learning to four US and four EU colleges. What distinguished this early pedagogy was the combination of asynchronous and synchronous classes (fusion learning). Later, as professor of education in the South Pacific for a decade, I was able to modify the pedagogy to be multicultural, developing methods of instruction that enabled Pacfic Islands with limited academic backgrounds and English skills to be successful in online courses. The 2019 article, A Synchronous Pedagogy to Improve Online Student Success (2019) 9(3) in the International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design describes the online pedagogy.