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Outsourcing in Higher Education

Economic constraints play an increasingly bigger role in choosing which programs to offer on campus. Two new startups are offering novel solutions to this economic reality.

Economic constraints play an increasingly bigger role in the decision which programs to offer on campus and which not. That often leads to cuts in language, arts and other less popular subjects whereas MBA studies are ramped up due to increasing demand.

There is an interesting article about the bubble in higher ed on TechCrunch that addresses some of the issues connected but today I would like to focus on two alternatives that colleges have on the Internet instead of simply cutting non popular / less performing programs.


2tor is a service provider that enables institutions in higher ed to completely outsource their Internet based courses. The team at 2tor will work closely together with the university staff to transform the traditional offline curricula into a complete online learning environment.

2tor also delivers the complete infrastructure for those online courses, from hosting to student support services and will invest about $10 million upfront in each new partnership in order to support the universities with global marketing and capital.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone announced a new partnership with James Madison University. Together they developed a complete online Spanish Beginner course based on the new Rosetta Stone TOTALe product. Students who take this course and complete it successfully will receive 3 college credits that can be applied to the degree.

This new solution is for students who want to learn on their own and then transfer the credits to their school. For example, a student at the University of Michigan could use TOTALe for their language requirement and take the course on their own time over the summer. They can then transfer the credits they will receive from the JMU accredited course. JMU is also thinking about extending the offer into other languages in the near future.

Image: Tiny Farm Blog

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