Coursera extends school lineup, 29 providers join the team

Coursera extends school lineup, 29 providers join the team

Summary: Online learning startup Coursera has announced new additions to the free-course family, and is now moving further across international borders.

TOPICS: Education

Coursera announced Thursday that it has added an additional 29 academic partners to its lineup of free course providers.

Within four months of launching, Coursera managed to secure over a million users globally. The result of an idea born from two Stanford scientists, Coursera has now managed to secure over a million new enrolments per month, and roughly 2.8 million users have registered to take advantage of free classes. 

The 29 new partners, however, will potentially attract even more users, as almost half of them are international.

The ed-tech startup provides over a hundred free courses for students worldwide, ranging from chemistry to clinical problem solving, engineering and history. The majority of current free course providers working with Coursera are based in the United States, but now this has been extended, with 16 academic institutions based in countries including France, Mexico, Japan and Spain.

Many of the new academic partners will now offer free courses in languages, including French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese. Some of the course providers who have recently signed up include the University of Tokyo, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat München, Sapienza Università di Roma and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Over 60 academic institutions have now joined the massive open online course (MOOC) platform, which could mean that Coursera -- as well as other projects including edX -- are setting a precedent for what is to come in education. Distance learning and online tasks are becoming more substantial in the education sector, and even though online courses often don't have the same prestige as campus-based education, some authorities are considering granting students credit for Coursera-based classes.

Topic: Education

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  • Promising sounding, but....

    There is VC money and a (sort of) business plan lurking in the background as opposed to more nonprofit-oriented ventures like OpenCourseWare. I suggest anyone really interested in more details behind Coursera to Google up the July 19, 2012 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled "Inside the Coursera Contract: How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses" by Jeffrey R. Young.

    Still though, there is a rather impressive number of courses offered through Coursera as of right now.