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Coronavirus is giving online higher education a second chance to prove its worth

Students attend a lecture in the auditorium of Technical University of Munich.
Reuters/Michaela Rehle
Open classroom.
  • Jenny Anderson
By Jenny Anderson

Senior reporter, Editor of How to be Human

With an increasing number of universities shutting down campuses and shifting their learning online to try and contain the spread of coronavirus, Coursera, a US online education company, announced today (March 12) that it will provide any impacted university in the world with free access to its 3,800 courses.

Universities that sign up can give their enrolled students access to 95% of its catalog which come from190 partner universities, including Johns Hopkins, the University of Michigan, and Yale, among others. Institutions facing coronavirus disruptions will have free access until July 31, at which time Coursera will offer month-to-month extensions “depending on prevailing risk assessments”.

“The spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) is the most serious global health security threat in decades,” Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s CEO, said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have university and industry partners, who have been at the forefront of responding to the challenges humanity has faced from time to time. “

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