Will the Internet Destroy University Education?

July 1, 2014, 20:50 talk show

The world of online education is going through a stormy period in its development. Over the course of the past few years, a number of projects offering full-scale Internet educations (Coursera, EdX, Udacity, Universarium, Hexlet, Interneturok.ru, and others) have appeared on the market. They provide services ranging from video lectures and homework assignments to tests and final exams. Russian institutions of higher learning that have stood out for their dedication to collaborating with such projects include: Moscow State University, the Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg State University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Pubic Administration. Educational multimedia libraries are growing at a fast pace.  

But the explosive growth of the online education sphere has been accompanied by a drastic increase in competition. Soon, the expansion of online courses offered by the finest American universities could deal a serious blow to regional Russian institutions: plenty of people would jump at the chance to receive a prestigious diploma without leaving the comfort of their own homes. How serious is this threat? What kind of prospects does Russian online education have? Can a completion certificate from an online educational institution compete with a traditional university diploma? What’s more important: the ‘sheepskin’ or your real-life skills and knowledge? 

These and other questions will be discussed over the course of an open discussion taking place as part of the Vladimir Potanin Charitable Fund School, which is an annual event bringing together the recipients of the Fund’s stipends and grants, representatives of 75 of Russia’s leading state and private universities. This year, 300 stipend winners were invited to participate in the school, along with 50 teachers/grant recipients. 

Participants in this discussion will include: Dmitry Peskov, Director of the Young Professionals Project at the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, Dmitry Repin, General Director of the Digital October Center, Elena Tikhomirova, Director of the eLearning Center, Aleksey Falaleev, Coordinator of the Project Office at Moscow’s Skolkovo School of Management, and Dmitry Guzhelya, Founder of the Universarium. 

The following topics will be discussed:

  • the subjects and objects of online education;
  • the educational resources the Internet has to offer;
  • promising online universities;
  • employer inquiries: brand names vs. key workers;
  • the Russian experience of online education.


The talk show will take place on July 1st at 20:30 in the Digital October conference hall, which is located at the following address: Bersenevskaya naberezhnaya, 6/3. 


119072, Moscow, Bersenevskaya Naberezhnaya, 6, str.3

+7 (495) 003–16–16
+7 (985) 766–19–25