Going with the current flow, a new line of universities including California Institute of Technology, John Hopkins University, Duke University have signed agreements with Coursera to put their web-based courses for free and create new opportunities for hands-on learning in the classroom.
The 12 universities who have signed the agreements include California Institute of Technology; Duke University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; Johns Hopkins University; Rice University; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Washington; and the University of Virginia. Foreign partners include the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the University of Toronto and EPF Lausanne, a technical university in Switzerland, and they will be joining the big league institutions Stanford, Princeton, Michigan and Penn Universities to bring their course content online for free.
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Coursera which describes its mission is to "change the world by educating millions of people by offering classes from top universities and professors online for free", was founded in 2011 by Stanford Computer Science Professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. Till date, the company has seen over 680,000 students enroll in 43 courses.
"We believe that putting courses online for free via Coursera offers tremendous value for students, professors and universities alike," said Andrew Ng.
He added, "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." Andrew Ng describes this as the "future of higher education"
These universities will offer over 100 new courses on topics in the arts, computer sciences, health, mathematics, history and other disciplines. All courses will be free of cost to any individual with a computer and an internet connection.
Over the next few months, new online courses across a range of disciplines will continue to be added to the online platform, from current university partners as well as other top-tier educational institutions.