MOOC tend to be taken by the educated

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Improving access | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) may not be reaching the poor, but instead be catering to the rich and well-educated in developing nations, research shows.

A global survey of almost 35,000 MOOC students engaged in courses of the online education service Coursera found that the majority were already well-educated and employed, and mostly males.  According to the survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, United States, more than 80 per cent of MOOC students already had a college degree and 44 per cent had a postgraduate qualification.

  • 83% of surveyed students already had a two- or four-year post-secondary degree
  • 44.2% reporting education beyond a bachelor’s degree
  • The prior educational standard among MOOC students across the world far exceeds that of the general population in their own countries



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