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NUS to offer free online courses

The courses will start in January next year, and will run for eight and six weeks respectively. -ST

Thu, Feb 21, 2013
The Straits Times

The National University of Singapore will be the first university in Singapore to offer free online courses in partnership with Coursera, a leading massive open online course website.

For a start it will offer two courses - "Unpredictable? Randomness, Chance and Free Will" and "Write Like Mozart: An Introduction to Classical Music Composition".

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Professor Tan Eng Chye, Provost and Deputy President (Academic Affairs), NUS spoke about the partnership with Coursera:

"We are delighted to be part of Coursera's groundbreaking initiative. The availability of rich academic content on its open online platform will accelerate knowledge sharing in higher education globally.

"Coupled with the rising widespread interest in the top-rate Asian and global expertise offered by the National University of Singapore, this natural partnership will enable us to broaden access to specialised knowledge. We are also thrilled that more students can now have access to, and benefit from, our distinctive educational offerings. The impact of this collaboration will be transformative."

On building the technology-enhanced education culture in NUS he said:

"MOOCs (massive open online courses) have created a buzz on campuses around the world, and triggered a rethinking of education missions, pedagogical models, and the role of technology in education.

"It is clear that technology-enhanced education is a trend that will continue to grow in terms of reach and impact. The partnership between NUS and Coursera will enable NUS to significantly enhance our global outreach efforts. In addition, joining Coursera represents another step that we are taking to further build an innovative technology-enhanced education culture on the NUS campus.

"This is an initiative we have recently embarked on, with NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan's announcement, at his State of the University Address (2012), of an allocation of S$5 million for the Learning Innovation Fund - Technology (LIFT) to support the imaginative use of technology-enhanced learning to further improve learning outcomes at NUS.

"The Coursera platform has the capacity and capability to host online courses at a level of sophistication that can enrich the NUS student experience, and will enable us as a partner institution to also broaden access to our highly popular courses for our own students, and, where appropriate, for the wider community.

"Our top priority however, remains the same: to keep our focus on enhancing learning within NUS. The well-developed and adaptable Coursera platform provides us with yet another means of achieving our mission."

Coursera Co-Founder Andrew Ng also spoke about the partnership:

"We are thrilled to work with NUS to develop online courses, both to serve their on-campus students, as well as to serve students all around the world.

"Students worldwide come to Singapore each year for a great education; using Coursera's platform, we're excited to bring some of NUS courses to everyone in the world, for free."

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