Integration of Immigrants/Refugees: How MOOCs can play a bigger role?

As part of my ‘Zero Cost MBA(Envisioning 21st century global manager)’ project, one of the key future trends identified was ‘Demographic Changes’. Either due to conflicts, economic prosperity or due to climate change; people are migrating from one region to another. Now, they can be either called economic migrant, qualified migrant or in light of crisis in Middle-East, ‘Refugees’. I have studied and observed this demographic changes from multiple angles, in terms of international relations, business environment as well as in terms of cultural confluences.

One of the biggest problem sighted in the integration of migrants is the cultural integration. But at the core of it, it can be termed as ease of accessing knowledge. The people who could make it safely to the Europe could get some better access to technology and facilities and have better chances to integrate. But how this big population can be integrated very fast? I believe, MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) can provide a better solution.

MOOC(Massive Open Online Course), which are not just easily accessible. but also enhance the component of self learning and collaborative problem solving. With slow and fast pace learners can do things as per their own pace, this kind of learning also reduces the fear of failure. Thus, it promotes more healthy learning environment to those who really wants to learn. Teaching through MOOCs will reduce the financial and logistical problems.

Well, I can go a lot more deeper on how it can be done, but allow me to introduce MOOC enthusiast Ramon Talavera-Franco, whom I have interviewed as part of the series “Life-changing experiences of learning with MOOCs”. Ramon shares his insights from the perspective of a MOOC student, Instructional Designer and a vivid blogger on MOOC.

You will find the answer of ‘How MOOC can help in integrating Immigrants’ in the interview.

Please note that due to some (inevitable) technical hitches during the live interview, some parts of the recording are interrupted.

About the interview series, ‘Life changing experiences of learning with MOOCs’:
While working on my book, ‘Zero Cost Practical MBA’​, I re-captured my moments of taking Massive Open Online Courses since their inception from 2012 and how it has helped me in gaining knowledge in easier way. There are many others like me who have got benefited from these new wave of providing education to learners.

Thereafter , I launched an interview series in collaboration with bringing together people from different walks of life, professions, nationalities and age groups who were deeply associated with MOOC and gained a lot from these courses.

About me and my Zero Cost MBA:

My name is Ankit Khandelwal and I am from India. I have done my masters in Chemical Engineering from Technical University of Denmark. From 2012-till recently I was working on my ‘Zero Cost MBA(Envisioning 21st century global manager)’ project. It is my own management study program, drafted after careful analysis of my interests, future market trends and required skill set to become a global manager/leader of 21st century. I have taken taken courses at MIT Open Course Ware, OCWC (Open Course Ware Consortium), OYC (Open Yale Courses), OLI (Open Learning Initiative), Organizations (WTO, Copenhagen Business Center) as well as on MOOC platforms (Alison, Coursera, edX, Open2study, NovoEd) as part of my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager’ project. From past 22-24 months, this was my full time work, where I have taken 20+ courses from different universities (general management as well as interdisciplinary sectors like trade negotiations, urban planning, public policy, climate change, emergency management etc), tried to self-learn 3 foreign languages and extensively studied newspaper from 8 different places for regular business happenings around the globe. I have tried to expand my outreach by reaching every corner of the world through projects, study of the regions or through expansion of networks. Equally important was my study of different cultures to prepare myself for negotiating/working in the multicultural environment (political/social and ground realities). You can read more about my work on


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