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Death by a thousand cuts

Tom P. Abeles (Based at Sagacity Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 9 August 2013




The purpose of this foresight editorial is to explore the changing nature of the traditional post‐secondary institution under increased pressure at the intersection of expanding demand for access and the maturation of the internet to allow international delivery to meet this demand.


This is an opinion piece.


The cost of basic knowledge assets, with the rise of “big data” and the internet, are asymptotically approaching zero, questioning why the increasing demand for access cannot be met at lower cost at the gates of the “Ivory Tower”. This is and will continue to have increased impact on how basic baccalaureate knowledge is delivered and certified

Social implications

The “bar” for job entrance has been raised beyond the secondary school diploma. At the same time, the removal of bottlenecks for post‐secondary certification, internationally, will change the nature of employment of graduates and also the entire infrastructure of the bachelor‐level institutional programs.


This is a contrarian foresight essay designed to provoke discussion at the systems level of education in general and post‐secondary programs in particular.



Abeles, T.P. (2013), "Death by a thousand cuts", On the Horizon, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 163-167.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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