Twelve years after the appearance of MOOCs, they continue to be an option within the university environment, aiming at the democratization of knowledge and equitable access to higher education. Nevertheless, there is a gap in the literature regarding the purposes of universities when implementing them. The present study set out to research in an exploratory way the institutional purposes for implementing MOOCs based on two public universities from different contexts. Explanatory categories were created based on the interviews with 14 people linked to the development of MOOCs. The results indicate that the purposes in both universities are: Innovation and institutional development, Internationalization and institutional brand positioning and Democratization of knowledge. It was concluded that the purposes for implementing MOOCs in each university depended mainly on their institutional trajectory and vision, MOOC’s time of implementation and the platforms used by the institutions.