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FT columnist and special reports editor Mike Skapinker asked a Twitter audience whether – in an age of massively open online courses (Moocs) and alternatives including professional apprenticeship schemes – traditional, and often costly, university courses still have something unique to offer.

What is the value of university?

There was some discussion of what the intrinsic value of university was – as a place to broaden the mind, to make contacts, and to learn how to learn.

Are Moocs a replacement for university?

Moocs are seen as complementary to bricks and mortar degrees. But will we ever see a UK prime minister who was self-taught through a Mooc, asked @ukedchat.

Are company-run apprenticeships a better alternative?

Apprenticeship schemes are also growing in popularity, with employers saying that school leavers can bring a different mindset and different skills to the workplace.

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