The global online learning platform edX, set up by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, is preparing a further disruption of traditional higher education models, with new micro-degrees and ‘stacked’ degrees made up of credits from a range of institutions, according to Anant Agarwal, founder and CEO of edX.
Agarwal was in Hong Kong on 9 December to receive the Yidan Prize for Education Development, one of two global prizes awarded each year by the Yidan Prize Foundation, set up by Chinese philanthropist Charles Chen Yidan, founder of Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent.
The prize – now in its second year – is seen as the most valuable global education prize, providing almost US$3.9 million in institutional and individual awards to each of its laureates.
More than 18 million people around the world have taken courses since 2011 on the edX MOOC (massive open online course) platform, which runs some 2,400 courses from more than 140 prestigious universities, including Harvard University, MIT, the University of Oxford, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Tsinghua University and Peking University.
“We founded edX as a non-profit, online and open-source learning platform. Our original vision – to provide open access to high-quality education at scale to learners around the world, regardless of geographic location, financial resources, prior academic qualifications, gender, race or other demographics – remains at the heart of edX,” Agarwal said in his acceptance speech at the prize-giving ceremony on 9 December.
The winners were initially announced in September.
“I grew up in India, where I saw first-hand this incredible need. You could get a good education if you were super rich. Or, you could get a good education if you were super bright and could afford expensive college admissions coaching camps,” he said.
Less privileged, he himself was fortunate enough to have a great mentor, his mathematics teacher, at St Aloysius High School in Mangalore, India. “He took a particular interest in me,” he told the audience and provided many hours of free tutoring to enable Agarwal to achieve a place at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
Read more : Yojana Sharma : University World News : 12 December 2018