EdX Expands Online Offerings

Universities in Europe and Canada are now in the mix.


Image Credit: Viola Ng via Flickr

EdX, the online collaboration that started between MIT and Harvard last May, and expanded to six universities in the past few months, has had a few big weeks. Last month, Mayor Menino announced the creation of BostonX in his state of the city address, which will bring edX courses into they city’s community centers and libraries. And yesterday, edX announced that they were doubling their offerings, adding six more schools that would provide MOOCs, or massive open online courses, to their platform. This time they’re going beyond the U.S. borders and tapping into top universities in Europe and Canada. As MIT news reports:

The Australian National University (ANU), Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, McGill University and the University of Toronto in Canada, and Rice University in the United States will use the edX platform to deliver the next generation of online and blended courses. This international expansion enables edX to better achieve its mission of providing world-class courses to everyone, everywhere, and is the natural next step to continue serving the large international student body already using edX on a daily basis.

Anant Agarwal, edX’s president, said the inclusion of international schools was the obvious  next step in the programs growth. “We have had an international student community from the very beginning, and bringing these leading universities from North America and Europe and the Asia Pacific into the edX organization will help us meet the tremendous demand we are experiencing,” he said in a statement. “Each of these schools was carefully selected for the distinct expertise they bring to our growing family of edX institutions. We remain committed to growing edX to meet the needs of the world while maintaining a superior learning experience for all.”

Elsewhere in world of MOOCs, the online learning company Coursera also announced this week that it would add 29 new universities to the 33 currently participating in its online learning platform, and they too are pushing to “expand their global reach,” according to Insider Higher Ed. Both edX and Coursera now provide courses primarily in English, but Agarwal told IHE that the EPFL plans to begin offering courses in French as they expand, which he said could have “huge reach” in Africa. The edX courses from the six new participants are anticipated to go online in the fall.