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With the US currently being a major trend-setter and a driving force behind Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a dozen of European institutions have pooled efforts to join the global MOOCs race, by launching the first pan-European MOOCs platform – OpenupED.
Supported by the European Commission, the new initiative is steered by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and aims to offer interested learners worldwide the opportunity to follow, on a free of charge basis, a broad range of courses in various disciplines. The partners, primarily open universities, are based in the following countries: France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK, Israel, Russia, and Turkey. All courses can result in credit certificates, provided the participants pay a fee ranging from EUR 25 to 400, depending on the size of the course, and thus might count towards a degree.
Unlike the booming MOOCs platforms such as Coursera, whose attractiveness is to a large extent driven by the presence of ‘big fish’ Ivy League universities, the advantage of the new platform lies in its diversity in terms of culture and language of instruction. The courses are available in Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Russian, and even the more exotic Gaelic and Hebrew amongst the platform’s current choice of twelve different languages.
European Commission - Press Release