Letter to the Economist (December 15, 2012) SIR – Although online courses in higher education are a mostly positive development, real learning in universities does not come just from course content (“Not what it used to be”, December 1st). Interaction on academic and non-academic topics with fellow students matters in and out of the classroom, as does time spent chatting with professors. The traditional university model also forces time-scheduling habits, whereas online learning instils no such discipline. The high tuition at Harvard is the price that one pays for the opportunity to learn in an environment with ambitious, talented peers and renowned academic leaders. After all, people still pay good money to attend sporting events, even if they are broadcast live and free on television. KAI CHAN Dubai Letter as it appeared in the Economist. Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2012. All rights reserved.