Free courses online are a great equalizer: sure, you won’t earn a degree by taking free classes over the internet, but you can gain an education without the crippling cost associated with earning a degree. And, after all, it is the education and knowledge you have that you can apply in your daily life that will improve your situation, regardless of a piece of paper.
Yet, if you are in Minnesota, this avenue to self-improvement may be closed to you.
Yet another way government bureaucracies are limiting your life choioces!
‘The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the state has decided to crack down on free education, notifying California-based startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents. Coursera, founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, partners with top-tier universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants to take them. You know, unless they happen to be from Minnesota.
The law’s intent is to protect Minnesota students from wasting their money on degrees from substandard institutions, Roedler says.
The thing is, no one is wasting their money on Coursera courses, because they’re free. (Yes, says Roedler, but they could still be wasting their time.)’
UPDATE, Oct. 19, 7:07 p.m.: Common sense has indeed prevailed! Minnesota has decided to stop enforcing an outdated law that had led to Coursera telling the state’s residents they weren’t allowed to take its free online classes. For more, see my follow-up post here.