Academic Entrepreneurship: Startups

While most likely a less frequent phenomenon than in the business world, there are cases of entrepreneurship also in academia. The rather unique (and criticized) focus on affordability and quantity through online education at the University of Phoenix is an excellent example of this. And there are others – even promising startups.

The New College of the Humanities is a newly started private higher education institution in London. Rather than competing with traditional institutions on quantity and cost (their perhaps greatest shortcomings, from a business perspective), the NCH is to compete using the more traditional measures of educational excellence: high(est)-quality education with famous faculty and small classes. And the strategy is to provide education based on “traditional lectures, seminars, teamwork and tutorials, independent study and online work.”

The NCH makes some minor attempts of educational innovation, such as increased flexibility and opportunities for specialization and self-study. But overall, this new private university in London aims to out-compete Oxford University in their own backyard: traditional university education. Quality is the overall rule of thumb, it seems, for this cocky upstart that is not afraid to take on the old and great academic institutions.

Professor A.C. Gayling explains what’s special with the NCH in this YouTube video. Other founding faculty include Richard Dawkins, Ronald Dworkin, Steven Pinker, Peter Singer, and Niall Ferguson. The line-up is undoubtedly impressive.

HT: Jake Roundtree.


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