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EdX Partners with Saudi Arabia on MOOC Portal Women, Youth, Disabled and Rural Citizens

EdX has partnered with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Labor to create an open-platform massive open online course (MOOC) portal powered by edX's open-source platform, with the goal of expanding educational opportunities for people in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Arab world.

The portal, which is expected to launch in September 2014, is intended to "bridge the gap between education and employment" in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries by providing women, youth, disabled people and those in rural communities with access to high-quality educational opportunities. They will be able to access "courses licensed from edX university members and translated into Arabic, as well as original courses developed exclusively for Arabic-speaking students," according to edX.

As part of the multi-year collaboration, Saudi Arabia will make a "significant investment in Open edX" and edX's services team will provide ongoing support to Saudi instructors. The initiative will also include "a research component focused on learning through innovative technologies and R&D," according to edX.

EdX is a nonprofit, open source enterprise that was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on expanding education opportunities online and on-campus. EdX currently offers online courses from more than 50 member institutions. According to Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, other countries including France, China, Jordan and Mexico have expressed interest in similar partnerships with the edX open source platform.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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