The following is adapted from a press release issued today by edX.
EdX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative composed of the leading global institutions of the xConsortium, today announced another doubling of its university membership with the addition of its first Asian institutions and further expansion in the Ivy League. The xConsortium is gaining 15 prestigious higher education institutions, bringing its total to 27, including Tsinghua University and Peking University in China; The University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology in Hong Kong; Kyoto University in Japan; Seoul National University in South Korea; and Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. The expansion reflects edX's rapidly growing global student body and supports its vision of transforming education by bringing the power of learning to all regardless of location or social status.
EdX also welcomes nine universities from North America, Europe and Australia. In the United States, in addition to Cornell, the Consortium has added Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Davidson College and University of Washington. From Europe, edX welcomes Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, Belgium's Universite catholique de Louvain and Germany's Technical University of Munich. The University of Queensland in Australia becomes the second Australian university to join the xConsortium.
"As we continue to grow the xConsortium and offer courses from institutions as diverse as our global community of students, we are moving forward with our mission to reimagine education," said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. "These schools, with their unique faculties and student bodies, will help us conduct collaborative research on best practices which improve education online and on campus."
While MOOCs, or massive open online courses, have typically focused on offering free online courses, edX's vision is much larger. EdX is building an open source educational platform and a network of the world's top universities to improve education both online and on campus while conducting research on how students learn. To date, edX has more than 900,000 individuals on its platform. The addition of these new higher education institutions will add a rich variety of new courses to edX's offerings.
The new members of the xConsorium are:
- The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (HKUx);
- Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong (HKUSTx);
- Kyoto University, Japan (KyotoUx);
- Peking University, Beijing, China (PekingX);
- Seoul National University, South Korea (SNUx);
- Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (TsinghuaX)
- The University of Queensland in Australia (UQx)
- Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (KIx)
- Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (LouvainX)
- Technische Universität München, Germany (TUMx)
- Berklee College of Music, Boston (BerkleeX)
- Boston University, Boston (BUx)
- Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. (CornellX)
- Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. (DavidsonX)
- University of Washington, Seattle (UWashingtonX)
In addition to adding these institutions, edX recently launched more than 20 new courses ranging from HarvardX's Science & Cooking to UTAustinX's The Ideas of the 20th Century to DelftX's Solar Energy to GeorgetownX's Introduction to Bioethics to BerkeleyX's Introduction to Statistics: Inference to MITx's Mechanics ReView to WellesleyX's Introduction to Human Evolution. These and other online and blended courses offered by xConsortium institutions are designed to take advantage of the unique features and benefits of online learning environments, including active learning, game-like experiences, instant feedback and cutting-edge virtual laboratories.
The new member institutions will join founding universities MIT and Harvard, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas System, Wellesley College, Georgetown University, McGill University, Australian National University, University of Toronto, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Delft University of Technology and Rice University in the xConsortium. The new X University Consortium members will offer courses on edX beginning in late 2013 or 2014. All of the courses will be hosted on edX's open source platform at www.edx.org.