Even the top schools acknowl­edge that much of the more for­mu­laic learning can be done online, often before the campus pro­gramme begins. But surely this is an argu­ment for cut­ting the length of the on-​​campus pro­gramme? Even if uni­ver­si­ties still have their heads in the sand, prospec­tive stu­dents do not. According to a national opinion poll con­ducted in 2012 for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity by FTI Con­sulting, nine out of 10 respon­dents aged between 18 and 30 said the US edu­ca­tion system had to inno­vate to be inter­na­tion­ally competitive.

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