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Tsinghua Joins edX in Online Education Efforts

May 22,2013


Tsinghua University has decided to join edX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative comprised of leading global institutions, the xConsortium, as one of the first group of Asian universities to do so, on May 21st, according to announcements made by both edX and Tsinghua.

In partnering with edX, Tsinghua will organize a related teaching team and provide four courses to be made available to global learners. Tsinghua also plans to develop an online course platform of its own, in order to help promote the sharing of high-quality educational resources and to provide more extensive educational services to the learners.

Tsinghua University President Chen Jining said that online education provides a brand-new model for the spread of knowledge and learning, which will in turn lead to major changes in global higher education, bringing profound changes to educational ideals, educational systems, teaching methods, and student development. President Chen noted that the development of online education brings great opportunities for higher education. It will help promote the teaching quality of universities and allow for equal access to education. He also remarked that online education poses several challenges to the current university education model and that there is a need to rethink and rebuild the relationship between universities and society. He pointed out that online education provides a platform for the exchange of diverse culture around the world, however, the way to promote understanding and a positive integration between different cultures, through this platform, is a new issue facing all of us in education.

"As we continue to grow the xConsortium and offer courses from institutions as diverse as our global community of students, we are moving forward with our mission to reimagine education," said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. "These schools, with their unique faculties and student bodies, will help us conduct collaborative research on best practices which improve education online and on campus".

Tsinghua has carried out much work so far in relation to online education. Tsinghua’s Department of Computer Science and Technology, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, the Department of Psychology, and the Institute of Education have jointly launched the Center for Massive Online Education. Meanwhile, taking the opportunity to join edX, Tsinghua will add the potential of massive online education to its efforts towards educational reform.

While MOOCs, or massive open online courses, have typically focused on offering free online courses, edX’s vision is much larger. EdX is building an open source educational platform and a network of the world’s top universities in order to improve education both online and on campus, while at the same time conducting research on how students learn.

(By Li Han)

About edX

EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise comprised of 20+ leading global institutions, the xConsortium. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, edX is focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research, using an open source platform. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US, edX is focused on people, not profit, and provides inspirational and transformative knowledge to students of all ages, social status, and income, who form a worldwide community of learners.