(SMARTPLANET) — The disruption of higher education just got very interesting.

It appears that the disruptors — private, online universities — are being disrupted at their own game.

One of the pantheons of traditional on-site learning, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has announced it will be launching online courses that will be free and open to the world.

And, in the process, plans to offer certificates to students successfully completing the coursework.

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