Oxford University joins the free online education party
Free online courses from prestigious universities around the world have been around for nearly half a decade now, through the likes of edX, Coursera and FutureLearn. But despite the likes of Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London offering free online courses, the University of Oxford hasn’t offered any. Until now.
Starting in February 2017, the University of Oxford will be launching an economics class through edX: “From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development”. The MOOC – “massively open online course” – will be taught by Sir Paul Collier, professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government.
There are issues with free online courses – the dropout rate is comparatively high, which perhaps isn’t surprising given the lack of cost and physical presence, and there’s scepticism over how the platform can lead to a full degree.
Nonetheless, you can’t fault the quality of the institutions backing them or, of course, the price. And any extracurricular learning looks good on the CV.
If economics isn’t for you, you could always enrol in Monash University’s class in surviving on Mars. The course started last month, but the beauty of online education is you can always catch up – if you’re willing to put the extra hours in.