On the face of it, this is a wonderful development. The intent to provide educational materials -- if not an education -- and that too, for free, deserves fulsome praise. I'm still not clear about how this system of online education will work. Will they handle it like traditional universities -- and flub it (like Texas and Illinois) or will they succeed, like the University of Phoenix?
Having done online (and satellite TV) education myself at a traditional mid-sized university, I am not too excited by how they do it. But for those who, for various reasons, cannot make it to a physical classroom of a university, the opportunity seems like a godsend -- but only if it is structured properly. Now, there are many -- almost always, adult learners -- who have benefited from receiving a diploma (and possibly an education, in the process) via correspondence (by mail) or over the internet. And then there is the price: free.
I would like UoP to succeed and large numbers of persons around the world to benefit. If UoP succeeds, then they may help define a model for providing education to billions of people who might otherwise never be able to afford it, and thereby make for a better world.