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Forum Post: Harvard And MIT Create EdX To Offer Free University Courses To The World

Posted 6 years ago on June 23, 2012, 3:43 a.m. EST by minhaalma (28)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement



One of the America’s most prestigious universities is offering free online courses to anyone in the world, providing they have an Internet connection.

Harvard University has teamed up with Massachusetts Institution of Technology in an "historic" partnership to launch the online education centre "edX". The project, which launches this autumn, aims to offer education on a mass scale.

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, called the initiative a "revolution".

"There is a revolution dawning in Boston and beyond. This revolution has to do with the pen and the mouse. It's unbelievable. We will have students around the world all collaborating and working together."

Agarwal, who dubbed the partnership the "next big thing", says edX will be available to anyone with an Internet connection and is currently absolutely free.

"Our goal is to educate 1bn people around the world," he added. "We're giving education on a mass scale and we're really excited."

Harvard's president Drew Faust appeared equally enthusiastic about the project, telling the conference, which marked the launch, that edX would "shape the world".

"Today's announcement brings the possibility of transformation through education to the world. edX gives Harvard and MIT an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically extend our collective reach by conducting groundbreaking research into effective education and by extending online access to quality higher education."

The jointly-owned organisation is currently not-for-profit but the setup poses the question as to how the universities will justify charging their current students tuition fees when the world and his wife can get their education free of charge.

Harvard and MIT have ploughed $60m (£38m) into launching the collaboration. A range of courses will be made available which will include video lessons, embedded quizzes and online labs. There will also be opportunities to engage with classmates and the course instructor.

More than a million students will be taking part in the experiment - which certainly looks set to fill edX's ambitions and "revolutionise" the world of education.

According to the BBC, Stanford academics have also set up an online platform named Coursera.

Daphne Koller, co-founder of the project, says the development of online courses will raise difficult questions.

"This is causing universities to rethink their value to students," she said.

"The universities in the middle will really have to think about their proposition."



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[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 6 years ago

Hi minhallma, Excellent!

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 6 years ago

Here is Link to Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, OpenUnivesity, Coursera.


About Coursera

We offer high quality courses from the top universities, for free to everyone. We currently host courses from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. We are changing the face of education globally, and we invite you to join us.

We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.

Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 6 years ago

"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."

Thomas Jefferson

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 6 years ago

Free education that offers a meaningless certificate in a world that requires college transcripts. Paid for, in part, by the tuition paying students that are mortgaging their future to get a Harvard or MIT degree. Seems like an empty PR move.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 6 years ago

Nothing can take the place of knowledge, piece of paper in hand or not. Harvard and MIT are giving back and that is a good thing.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 6 years ago

I don't see either institution as giving anything. I see it as a PR move. It can even be used to justify high tuition charges.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 6 years ago

Has it been used to justify higher tuition costs? Or are you speculating and fear mongering? It may be a PR move, but one that has the added benefit of helping people - its a win/win.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 6 years ago

It's a new program I doubt it's been used for anything other then to create good feelings in the minds of a public growing more aware of student debt. While it's true that the offerings are a boon to anyone that simply wants to learn and not get a degree, it has to be paid for by someone.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 6 years ago

The donations of the rich that traditionally have supported Harvard. It is a private school. Tuition does not cover their operating costs. The Harvard Alumni is well endowed.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 6 years ago

They take in large amounts of alumni money and have a lot of money invested, I know that. They also estimate it costs an undergrad almost $63000 a year to go there. I was surprised to see Elizabeth Warren was paid over $400,000 to teach one class there. It just seems like they could do something for the students to ease the burden of costs. This free program takes some of the heat off the schools.

[-] 1 points by WageSlave (117) 6 years ago

This has been occurring for some time, but it never ceases to amaze me. Very exciting developments.



[-] -2 points by linker (-241) 6 years ago

Great! maybe OWS can finally get a clue! Free stuff YAY !!!