Why Open Online Education makes sense for India

On a recent visit to India, Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, shared in an exclusive chat with EDU about the future of open online education

 1. Its free, easily available and courses offered are from the best universities world over

Online education is a fast growing phenomena across the world.  What better way of using it than making it freely available for students to take a course of their choice free of cost from the best universities across the world?

EdX.org is just such a  portal, where students can come and take courses from some of the best institutes in the world, free of cost.

2. Its been tried and tested by other countries and is a success

 Countries can adopt the platform and host the data locally in the country and create their own platform just like edX. China, Middle East, France and Japan have adopted it and seen success and the popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. India is also thinking of implementing it and has also launched a portal called Swayam to take this forward. There are discussions going on about how to host it, what technology to use and so one. We would be delighted to work with the Indian Organizations to create a national platform.

3. There’s been a complete turnaround in MOOCs learning in spite of Sebastian Thrun's writing it off 

“Some of the for profits ventures in online education found that they were not able to reach the students they wanted to, also students did not do so well. However, there were 2 amazing experiments conducted at San Jose University – Udacity and EdX, we did very well in ours. We are very bullish. We have made our content available on open source platform. This set up really works for non-profit and especially for us” said Agarwal. 

4. Indian education is already headed the online open learning way

MHRD has launched SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) which is a national platform for India. With the help of this, Indian universities can create courses and put them up in a platform localized for the Indian market. Also edX is very keen on creating such a platform along with Indian organizations.


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