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Dec 14, 2016 08:56 AM EST

Oxford, Harvard, And Other Top Universities Offer Free Courses

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After bagging the first spot as the best university in the world, Oxford announced that it is going to open an online course starting next year. Oxford is not alone in this endeavor because other top universities, like Harvard, Stanford, and MIT are also offering online courses.

The Massive Open Online Course has been around for quite sometime but only recently have Oxford joined the group. The university announced that it is partnering with edX, a non-profit organization that specializes in edtech, to launch its MOOC in February 2017.

Sarah Whatmore, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, said that they are offering the online course as part of their Digital Education Strategy where they can deliver more digital education experiences.

The online course titled "From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development" is an economic course that will be delivered by Sir Paul Collier, a professor of economics at the Blavatnik School of Government.

MOOC or massive online learning started in 2011 and the first university to offer an online course was Stanford University where one of its first courses was on artificial intelligence.

After the success of Stanford University, other universities followed suit and more platforms also sprang up. According to a report from Class Central said that in 2015 alone, there is already an estimated 35 million students enrolled in one MOOC.

What makes MOOC popular and what are its benefits to the education that students are already receiving. According to the World Education Forum, MOOC helps enhance the career of people. A lot of people who enroll in such courses do this to make themselves more attractive to prospective employers because it adds to their skill sets and resumes. Companies, on the other hand, also benefit from MOOC because it addresses the skill gap, especially in web design and technology.

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