Online learning platform Coursera is set to offer its first degrees from UK universities, including its first ever bachelor’s programme. Times Higher Education reports.
It also announced four new master’s degrees from US institutions, including computer science programmes from Arizona State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and public health and applied data science degrees from the University of Michigan.
They reflect the evolution of online learning platforms from their roots offering free massive open online courses, to offering paid-for accredited programmes and full degrees.
The Californian company announced on 6 March that it would host a new public health master’s from Imperial College London, as well as a computer science bachelor’s from the University of London.
Robert Zimmer, head of the computing department at Goldsmiths, University of London, which will deliver the content for the University of London degree, said that the new bachelor’s programme represented “the next stage of what it means to do distance education”. Moocs’ roots were in freely available short “top-up” courses, he said.
Craig O’Callaghan, deputy chief executive of the University of London’s distance learning programmes, said that he expected the first intake to consist of 125-150 students, growing to 3,000 within five years.
He added that the full degree will cost £9,600 for “independent learners” that have “no additional support from an outside agency apart from the module tutors”, and increase to £17,000 for those from developed countries. There is also an option for students to take supplementary tuition at one of the University of London’s teaching centres around the world.
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