Harvard Debuts Free Online Courses
By Eli Epstein | October 16, 2012 3:04 AM EST
With tuition costs soaring and jobs dwindling, there just might be a way to get a top-notch education while only paying a sliver of the market rate.
Typically, the stigmas surrounding online colleges are lukewarm at best, but with the debut of Harvard’s edX, that’s about to change.
The free program—part of a non-profit joint venture with MIT and the University of California Berkeley—debuted last week and drew 100,000 applications for web classes including computer science, epidemiology, and biostatistics, according to the Boston Globe.
Students can take as many classes as they like. The universities attached to the program insist that the grading process is rigorous and that curricula and standards are on par with on-campus courses. When students demonstrate mastery of a course, they receive a certificate.
The edX philosophy is the brainchild of MIT professor Anant Agarwal, who became disenchanted with foreign university models after making his way through the Indian baccalaureate system.
“I was one of the fortunate students who was able to enter the funnel in the traditional way, both in India and in the United States,” Agarwal told the Wall Street Journal last month. “As edX casts its net across the world, I would like to see other students in India reap the benefits of high quality education.”
Now, the edX network is thriving at the three schools. Agarwal completed a circuitry this summer that brought 20,000 applicants into the MIT edX system, representing 160 countries.
At Harvard, which, like MIT, pumped $30 million into the program, the focus is not only on providing low-cost, high-grade education, but also on revolutionizing the way the teaching system functions.
“We view this as an incredible opportunity for us to ask deeper questions about how people learn and how we as a university help people to learn,” Harvard provost Alan Garber told the Boston Globe.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- BC Labour Unions Offer $8M Interest-Free Loans to Striking Teachers; Surplus Won’t Be Used to Settle Teachers’ Strike – Finance Minister
- 12-Year Old's Racy Photos And Erotica Literature Discovered In iPad School Provided
- Boxing News: Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute to Open in China
- Prince William & Kate Middleton First Autum Engagement, Royal Couple Opening Oxford University’s China Centre
- New Zealand Teachers Union Rejects Government’s Education Plan
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8: Performance, CPU and Health
- Google Release Roundup: Nexus 5 2014, Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Android L Killer Features
- Samsung Attacks iPhone 6 Plus Through New Galaxy Note 4 Commercial: Apple Claims Imitating Galaxy Note Phablets
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Nexus 6, 8 Release Dates Imminent as Moto X Pre-Order Begins & Nexus 7 Deals Ramp Up
- iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Has Begun, Expected To Reach Customers’ Doorstep On Sept 19 Launch Date