Worldview Stanford: Why MOOCs will Transform Africa

By Nancy Murphy

Through Rina and Open a Door, I’m witnessing first-hand the critical role that education plays in building a new generation of leaders and ultimately, peace and prosperity. Yet given the few scholarships available to international students, especially for those with low income levels, few can pursue the dream of a U.S. college education. And despite huge improvements in sub-Saharan Africa, the higher education opportunities there remain limited in number, accessibility, and quality. Deeply entrenched cultural attitudes toward women further constrain their real and perceived opportunities. Massive Open Online Courses, also known as MOOCs, may help fill that gap, transforming the lives of women who are hungry to learn and, by extension, their communities, and countries. That’s why it’s so thrilling to see MOOCs take off in Africa and teach us Westerners a lesson or two about educational innovation.


For many disruption in education has a negative connotation. For me, disruption is another word for transformation. This article gives you a brief introduction to one way the world is changing thanks to Moocs, tech, and a spirit of gratitude and giving. 


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