According to a recent BBC news story, the Internet giant Google has published its Top 20 most searched universities by Google users worldwide for 2014. The two main trends revealed by this latest list are not only interesting but also thought provoking.
First and foremost, we are witnessing a clear and significant increase in MOOCs popularity. The leading MOOCs providers such as Coursera or edX have been registering online visitors to their websites well above and beyond many traditional and leading institutions such as the University of Cambridge. These platforms, present users with the opportunity to learn and acquire skills and knowledge by reputable institutions while at the same time offer a great deal of flexibility and personal input for each of the users – students. It is certainly not surprising that modern advances in education have made MOOCs popular, reliable and in many cases a preferred alternative to further study overall, especially in times where disposable income for many may be an issue. It also appears that MOOCs and their potential will soon ripen as a field of academic competition and it will be very exciting to see how the top universities in the world will adapt and follow this specific trend.
The second major trend revealed is that Universities no longer rely on the Internet merely for filling in their news feed and sharing important updates, but as the context of educational services becomes even more internationalised and diverse, they begin to adjust their websites for recruiting and attracting international talent. Many of the websites now feature virtual tours, informative videos, advanced graphics and layouts, while more and more departments and schools within the universities are moving to modernise their respective web pages. This is not only due to technological advancements that allow this changes to take place, but it stems primarily by the way we are experiencing and accessing information in the current age, where one institution’s website is in effect its public face.
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