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Marginal Revolution University has been Banned in Minnesota!

by  on October 19, 2012 at 10:58 am in EconomicsLawWeb/Tech | Permalink

Minnesota has banned MRUniversity and other online education services from providing content to Minnesota residents. This seems like a joke but it is not from The Onion. Coursera, one of the larger players in this field, has rewritten its terms of service to prohibit Minnesota residents from taking its courses:

Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.

Tyler and I wish to be perfectly clear: unlike Coursera, we will not shut down MRU to the residents of Minnesota. We are prepared to defend our rights under the First Amendment to teach the good people of Minnesota all about the Solow Model, water policy in Africa, and the economics of garlic–even if we have to do so from a Minnesota jail!

4 Responses to “Dispatches from the Free-Market, Deregulatory Utopia”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    I saw that, kind of chilling. You may only get your education from state-sponsored/approved sources.

  2. Student says:


    Here’s to hoping that they don’t just grant online education an exception and rather completely rework the laws so that the state no longer has any say on where you can get your education.

  3. chuck martel says:

    It’s not that much different than the state forbidding internet gambling or jumping all over on-line sales. After all, acquired knowledge is valuable, just like on-line poker winnings. If there’s value, the government wants its cut.

  4. Harry says:

    I found it chilling, too, especially when they attack at the margin.

    Remember that Minnesota elected Al Franken by a small margin of found votes from the Mesabi Range, and a few others from elsewhere. He is one who has much sway in our lives now that we are spending and printing many thousands of billions. Have a nice day.

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