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12 Top Universities Join Coursera

Twelve top universities--nine American and three international institutions--have inked a deal to begin offering courses online through distance learning provider Coursera, come this fall, according to a statement released Tuesday by the company. In addition, the Mountain View CA-based company has secured $3.7 million in funding from Caltech and the University of Pennsylvania.

The latest schools to sign agreements with Coursera include California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, UC San Francisco, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Virginia, University of Washington, Ecole Polytechnique Federale deLausanne, University of Edinburgh, and the University of Toronto. These 12 institutions join Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan, and Penn State in delivering more than 100 massive open online courses, or MOOCs, across a number of disciplines. All classes are offered at no charge to any student with access to a computer and Internet connection.

"We believe that putting courses online for free via Coursera offers tremendous value for students, professors and universities alike," said Andrew Ng, Coursera co-founder and associate professor for the Department of Computer Science at Stanford, in a prepared statement. "Students have greater access than ever before to the world's foremost subject matter experts. Professors can reach more students in one course than they could have hoped to in a lifetime. Universities can teach millions worldwide, and make time on-campus for interactive in-class learning. This is truly the future of higher education."

Ng founded Coursera last fall with Stanford colleague and Computer Science Professor Daphne Koller. Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan, and Penn State joined Coursera in April 2012. More than 680,000 students from 190 countries registered for classes. Coursera has logged 1.6 million course enrollments across its 43 courses, to date. The company plans to add new courses, disciplines, and partner institutions, in the coming months.

To sign up for courses or learn more about the program, visit Coursera’s Web site.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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