The New York Times announced this week that forty public US universities are teaming up with the company Academic Partnerships to offer free online courses which lead to the award of credit towards degree programmes.
The problem is that there is a dark side to the British boarding school system, which is nothing like the homo-erotic hazing and initiation of the 20th Century that everyone associates with boarding life.
The system has its flaws and has led to various negative impacts that could have been predicted. However, for the foreseeable future it is here to stay, and everyone working in education needs to make sure it works - or else see a generation miss out on a university education.
University. It's about meeting new people, living on a diet of baked beans and getting as far away from your parents as possible. Isn't it? Not anymore.
Last week marked the two-year anniversary of the British student protests held in opposition to planned spending cuts to higher education and an increase in the cap on tuition fees from £3,290 to £9,000. The rise in the maximum fees universities are allowed to charge students took effect at the start of this term.
Whilst not as explosive as 2010's miniature riot in Millbank, the fact that yet another major student demonstration ended in disarray is an uncomfortable fact for the NUS.
Look out London: the students are coming. Again. And if police and press reports of the last major student demonstration, back in 2010, are to be believed, a torrid time is on its way.
However, with the UK's long term economic prospects likely to be determined by the skill levels of its workforce, it is high time postgraduate study received some attention.
It's been a long time coming but this autumn heralds a new era for UK education. For the first time, students who want to study for their degree online have the same entitlement to tuition fee loans as those studying full time at university.
What began as an objection to tuition hikes - and not especially extortionate ones at that - has undeniably come to signify in Quebec something much broader and more fundamental.
Disappointingly I think the majority of students just aren't interested in political issues and this is something that needs to be addressed on both a local level in student communities and a national level.
As a record-breaking and ever-increasing number of British students are becoming curious about the possibility of studying in another country, there is growing demand for information about studying abroad.
Leaving aside the question of whether we really need 50% of our young going to higher education, let us ask whether there is any alternative to making people pay for higher education.
Students have said to me that the changes in tuition fees did make them consider the prospect of heading off to university a little more carefully, but it is clear from many that if they wanted to head to higher education to study a certain course or work towards a particular career, then finance would not be a factor in deterring them
It seems that the brief resurgence of student activism has disappeared as soon as it arrived. While the Northern Ireland Education Maintenance Allowance and nursing bursaries are slashed away, we hear absolutely nothing from the students' unions and just words from NUS-USI.
With increased fees now a reality, it is necessary to change the terms of the debate by looking beyond whether this is the right funding model. Students being charged these amounts need to know how to make the most of an expensive degree.