Can you educate your enemy?


I was embracing MOOC with my full heart due to its open nature – any one can take a free course any where any time. Apparently it is not the case any more. Coursera is blocked in Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as “Providing access to education for everyone has always been at the core of Coursera’s mission, and it is with deep regret that we have had to make a change to our accessibility in some countries. Certain United States export control regulations prohibit U.S. businesses, such as MOOC providers like Coursera, from offering services to users in sanctioned countries, including Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria.

The thinking behind is that a US based MOOC shall not educate its enemy countries. But who defines ‘enemy’? Would US decide China as an enemy one day and block Chinese students’ access to these resources?

Luckily Coursera is fighting its mission to provide education for all, as MOOC ‘offers more than just course materials and lectures; it fosters cultural exchanges and understanding between people “who in many cases have been traditional enemies.’



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