“Almost two years ago, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sold edX, their pioneering massive open online course provider, to 2U, an online program management company. At the time, many in higher ed argued that edX’s sale to a for-profit company undermined its nonprofit mission to expand access to learning. Also, some of edX’s original investors and dues-paying university partners were concerned about not getting a cut of the $800 million that 2U paid Harvard and MIT.
But Harvard and MIT celebrated the windfall at the time as a way to fund a nonprofit “reimagining the future of learning for people at all stages of life, addressing educational inequalities, and continuing to advance next generation learning experiences and platforms.” (EdX’s sale garnered the two institutions a tenfold return on their combined $80 million investment.) Now, the universities have followed through on that promise with their recent announcement of the Axim Collaborative. The new nonprofit was funded from edX’s sale and aims to improve educational outcomes and employment pathways for underserved students….”