How Udacity, Coursera and other online universities are changing the way we learn—and changing who has access to higher education:

‘It turns out that two-thirds of our students are from outside the United States,’ Stavens, now the CEO of Udacity, said. ‘It’s about a third US, a third from ten other countries you might expect—western Europe, Brazil, east Asia, Canada—and then about a third from 185 other countries. We have 500 students in Latvia. Now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it actually means more students take our classes in Latvia than take them on Stanford’s campus.’

And that’s just it: Stavens and his co-founders aren’t evangelists out to convert the unwashed masses. They simply minister to those who show up, looking to be saved. ‘Learning is a process a lot like exercise. It has great results, but takes a lot of effort. And maintaining that effort is really hard.’ If you don’t want to learn Python, or how the smartphone game Angry Birds works, fine. There are 500 Latvians who do.

“Professors Without Borders.” — Kevin Charles Redmon, Prospect

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