Inversion of selection

Imagine, you have a product or a service to sell. Would you select your customers or your customers would select your product or service? Employers select their employees because employees offer a service and employers are customers. Now, when this selection is outsourced to universities, it creates a situation where as service providers, universities have the power to select students who are in fact their customers.

Education is the only industry today perhaps, which selects its customers. This has implications on the nature of competition and in turn, quality of services offered, operational efficiency and value creation. I believe, educational technology has a potential to invert this and make this industry customer centric again.

Traditionally, universities have had constrained reach due to limited availability of physical resources for matching supply with multi-fold demand. Using technology, MOOC platform providers like edX, Coursera and Udacity have offered universities a solution to enhance their constrained reach and even provide open access to a set of services to anyone, anywhere and anytime.

Especially, a business model, that edX follows, of making courses available for free and provide verified certificates for a fee, with optional on-campus modules that use a selection process, when becomes mainstream, shall help catalyse inversion of selection in education. Free market forces would then apply and would lead to a rapid digital transformation with enhanced customer centricity.

There are challenges that prevent edX model from being mainstream. Due to which, Coursera and Udacity who started with a similar model have had to partially deviate from it. I have addressed those in a separate post here. What do you think about inversion of selection in education? Let me know.