Coursera, the online education service that offers courses from top-ranked universities such as Princeton University and Stanford University at no cost to the user, is adding to its list of schools and courses.
The education provider will be adding 12 universities and about 55 courses to bring its overall total to 16 schools offering approximately 100 free online classes.
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Among some of the new courses of note are more basic science offerings, which may attract students who fit the "younger educational bracket," notes Daphne Koller, a Coursera cofounder.
"The population that we've had previously on the platform has been a little bit more of the continuing education student, or [people] who already have a degree," Koller says. "A lot of our new courses are appealing also to people who are basically entering college students."
The 12 schools that will be joining Coursera, effective today, are Georgia Tech, Duke University, University of Washington, California Institute of Technology, Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California—San Francisco, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, University of Virginia, Scotland's University of Edinburgh, University of Toronto, and Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
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While Coursera has seen enrollments from 190 countries, the course offerings from Edinburgh, Toronto, and EPFL mark the first additions to the platform from international universities.
"Currently a lot of our content is in fact subtitled in different languages … but this only takes you so far because students who really don't speak any English still struggle," Koller says. "To really reach the population that is the least educated in those countries … to be able to offer content that is taught organically in a foreign language really expands our ability to teach the people who need it the most."
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