Partners in 11 countries have joined forces to launch OpenupEd.eu, the first pan-European MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative, with the support of the European Commission.
Around 40 courses, covering a wide variety of subjects, will be available free of charge and in 12 different languages in the portal www.OpenupEd.eu, officially launched on 25 April 2013. The initiative is led by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and mostly involves open universities based in France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK, Russia, Turkey and Israel.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, launched the European MOOCs initiative in a webcasted international press event hosted by the Open Universiteit in the Netherlands. “This is an exciting development and I hope it will open up education to tens of thousands of students and trigger our schools and universities to adopt more innovative and flexible teaching methods”, she said. “We see this as a key part of the Opening up Education strategy which the Commission will launch this summer.”
Professor Fred Mulder, chair of the EADTU task force on open education and UNESCO chair in Open Educational Resources, is leading the initiative. "Our aim is to respond to the need for a more accessible system of higher education, which puts the learner at the centre. The European MOOCs will provide quality, self-study materials and a bridge between informal learning and formal education", he stressed.
For EADTU President, Will Swann, “the pan-European MOOCs initiative shows our collective passion to further innovate.”
The OpenupEd.eu free online courses range from mathematics to economics, e-skills to e-commerce, climate change to cultural heritage, corporate social responsibility to the modern Middle East, and language learning to writing fiction. Each partner is offering courses via its own learning platform and at least in its home language. Courses can be taken either in a scheduled period of time or anytime at the student's own pace.
All courses may lead to recognition: a completion certificate, a so-called badge, or a credit certificate that may count towards a degree. In the latter case, students have to pay for the certificate, with the cost ranging from € 25 to € 400.
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