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In Norway, higher education is completely free. I think that currently, it actually makes very little difference, because virtually nobody are using MOOCs to replace degrees (this might happen in the future, and will of course be a different story, but still only pertains to a certain well-defined group). Most of the people taking MOOCs are either students who are complementing their current in-class studies, or checking out courses outside their majors, or people who long-since graduated school. If I sit down to watch some HCI videos, it isn't because it would cost a certain amount of money to go back to school fulltime to study HCI. (And of course, even if school was free, time isn't, and full-time studies will always be expensive - even with Scandinavia's generous student-support systems). Of course, what one could perhaps expect is that those institutions were tuition is free, and were the institution has a mandate to serve the whole city, not just its students (for example, anyone in Oslo can get a library card at the University library), that these institutions would then go in the forefront of opening up resources, sharing videos, using open licenses, etc... Of course, that has not happened (partly because all their funding comes from the government for very clearly defined purposes, partly perhaps just because there is very little competition, "branding" etc)...
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May 23, 2013