"We can substantially improve the quality of education, not just by increasing access worldwide but also improving the quality of education on campus," edX President Anant Agarwal told the board.
School administrators said the UC system currently offers about 250 for-credit online courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, but the vast majority of them are for specific degree programs. The UC Online Education program, launched in January, offers 14 courses approved for credit at all UC campuses, and about 20 more are in the works.
Yudof proposed allowing non-UC students who take enough credit-bearing UC courses to transfer to a UC campus, which would allow the system to admit more students. He also suggested that campuses could encourage UC students to take multiple online courses during their first two years of college.
While most regents voiced their support for expanding online learning, student Regent Jonathan Stein voiced skepticism: "Online education that is used to entirely substitute our current education is not something we would embrace."
The Democratic governor was at San Jose State University on Tuesday when campus officials announced partnership with Udacity to offer low-cost, entry-level classes for credit for students inside and outside the California State University system.
"This is very exciting stuff," Brown told reporters Wednesday. "I'm going to do whatever I can to wisely introduce technology, working with the faculty and learning as we go."