edX Members

HEDLINE: edX expands Membership Structure – Has to Block Students


edX announced that it has expanded its membership structure. Besides the original 32 charter members of the xConsortium additional selected universities, colleges, schools and institutions are now able to join the edX community. In a first step 12 new members have joined edX.

Following Coursera’s February announcement, edX is now also forced by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.S. State Department to block students from Cuba, Iran and Sudan.

Key Takeaway

According to edX the expansion comes in response to a growing demand from students who want a broader selection of courses, also from non-traditional institutions. The twelve new edX members are

Colleges and Universities

  • Colgate University
  • Hamilton College
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium
  • Osaka University
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Other institutions

  • International Monetary Fund
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • Learning by Giving Foundation (Buffett family philanthropy)
  • The Linux Foundation
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • Televisión Educativa, Secretaría de Educación Pública, Mexico

edX currently offers more than 150 courses, taught and facilitated by over 400 faculty members. Students on the platform have earned over 100.000certificates.

Unfortunately, not everyone will have access to the platform anymore. Similar to Coursera, edX has to block students that want to access the site from countries that are currently under US trade sanctions.

edX founder and president Anant Agarwal shared his thoughts on the situation on the edX blog. As Michael Feldstein points out on his blog e-Literate, the situation seemed to be different one month ago when Agarwal wrote on the edX blog that

“EdX has worked for many months with the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets and Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. State Department to determine how we can assure that no one in any country is blocked from taking an edX course. […]
EdX received confirmation last spring that we could offer education to students in Syria under a general license, and we recently received licenses to offer MOOC education to students in Cuba, Iran and Sudan.”

Both Coursera and edX said they will continue to work on this issue and want to restore access for all students, no matter where they live.

Further Reading

  • EdX Announces New Membership Structure; Expands edx.org | edX
  • We don’t want to block anyone from any course, but… | edX
  • edX forced to block access to students in Cuba, Iran and Sudan | e-Literate
  • We’re not blocking anyone: EdX still educating students from Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba | edX
  • Education for Everyone but – Coursera blocks Students from Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan | EDUKWEST


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Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.