Open Education Platforms Blocked in Some Countries

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

It has been reported that some major providers of open courses and MOOCs have been instructed to rescind access to countries which are currently undergoing forms of economic or political sanction.  Countries that have undergone sanctions of this sort include Iran, Sudan, Cuba and Syria (although Coursera reinstated access to Syria as soon as they could).

Those countries which experienced sanction are often those with populations which could benefit the most from access to learning.  The politicisation of open education can be seen to stand at odds with increasing participation among those groups who stand to gain most from improved opportunities.

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One comment

  1. Rob Farrow says:

    The picture here seems to be changing – the BBC reported this week that Iran has been working with Coursera to remove some restrictions. As a result, Iranian students will be able to access MOOC offerings although it must be noted that some subjects – including science, technology, engineering and mathematics – will not be made available.

    The article also notes that other providers – such as the UK’s FutureLearn – are not affected by the sanctions and can be said to be widening access in a wider range of countries. Courses that are provided on multiple platforms thus have the best chance of being accessed by the widest range of peoples.

    The article is available at

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