Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) has become the first Swiss university to offer courses on an online learning platform that promises to revolutionize higher education.
EPFL is among 12 leading universities in Europe and the US to join Coursera, an internet platform created by two Stanford University academics.
Coursera offers free online access to courses offered by professors from 16 elite universities, such as Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley.
The courses do not provide credits toward degrees at the participating schools but instructors offer signed certificates to students who complete the studies.
A total of 111 courses are currently offered by Coursera in disciplines that range from computer science to humanities and social sciences.
“This is the future, and we must be part of it,” Martin Vetterli, dean of EPFL’s School of Computer and Communications Sciences, said in a statement issued on the institute’s website.
The “massive open online courses” or MOOCs are unique in that they can be taken by anyone in the world with no limit to the number of students enrolled.
EPFL is climbing onto the Coursera bandwagon with other institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, Duke, Johns Hopkins and the University of Toronto.
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