Coursera, EdX Put Pressure on Third-World Universities

With the rise of the MOOC, many universities have been put in the position where they need to make a choice about signing up or possibly falling behind this new online education revolution. It seems that there are many institutions that are having issues with platforms such as Coursera and others, and the reason for this might just be the fact that many of these schools are third-world institutions that are worried about being left behind.

Educational Revolution

Carlos Martinez is a professor within the university of El Salvador where he teaches electrical engineering. Carlos has found a way to teach more students that his university of 50,000 will allow; he is promoting educational platforms such as edX in the hopes that students will begin taking advantage of these sites to educate themselves. His blog follows his journey throughout El Salvador and his attempts to convince others of the potential of the MOOC, but he is being met with some mixed responses; according to him, many of the older professors are reluctant to give it a try, even though the third world university is struggling to meet with the demands of modern education. Martinez described his attempts in this way; “I want to let the new ideas in, raise the bar, and change the curriculum.”

Educating the Masses

As it stands, the University of El Salvador is the one public university within the country and it allows 50,000 through its doors. Yearly it spends around $60 million to instruct learners – a small budget compared to the $1.3 billion that is spent by institutions such as the University of Michigan – and this means that it needs to limit the number of students that are accepted to the institution. Due to this issue, many prospective students are unhappy at not being able to study, and this is what makes online learning such a valuable asset, especially in countries where problems such as these are common.

Threatening to End Traditional Education Delivery

According to some experts, the MOOC is threatening to put an end to the standard method of higher education delivery, and this is something that some institutions are not willing to support. Martinez states that it is the older professors that tend to have an issue with chance, while the younger ones are more willing to get on board, and according to him and many advocates of online learning, this is one of the reasons why a new system was necessary in the first place; after all, if education cannot evolve, how are students supposed to find success in the real world?