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Harvard, MIT launch initiative to offer free online courses

Last updated on: May 3, 2012 14:52 IST

Harvard, MIT launch initiative to offer free online courses

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Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have joined hands to launch an ambitious $60 million initiative under which they will offer free online courses to students, a collaboration that will be headed by Indian-origin professor Anant Agarwal.

The new online education platform 'EdX' would be overseen by a Cambridge-based not-for-profit organization and be owned and governed equally by the two universities.

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Image: Harvard Business School.
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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Harvard, MIT launch initiative to offer free online courses

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MIT and Harvard have committed $30 million each in institutional support, grants and philanthropy to launch the collaboration.

Agarwal, who holds a PhD from Stanford and a bachelor's degree from IIT Chennai, will be EdX's first President.

Director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Agarwal led the development of the platform.

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Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters

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Harvard, MIT launch initiative to offer free online courses

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At Harvard, Provost Alan Garber will direct the effort, according to statements from the two universities.

"EdX represents a unique opportunity to improve education on our own campuses through online learning, while simultaneously creating a bold new educational path for millions of learners worldwide," MIT president Susan Hockfield said.

EdX would draw on the faculty, research, and institutional backing of both universities to provide Harvard and MIT courses to users around the world.

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MIT and Harvard expect that over time other universities will join them in offering courses on the EdX platform.

The gathering of many universities' educational content together on one site would enable learners worldwide to access the course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities.

 


Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
Tags: MIT , Harvard

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