$1.55 million initiative for online education launched

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USAID, COURSETALK, IREX and TASCHA launch $1.55 million initiative to bring online education to developing world.

The two-year initiative focuses on youth workforces in Colombia, Philippines and South Africa. Online courses have the potential to expand quality education and career training worldwide, but few people in developing countries access them.

Now, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and CourseTalk.com, are launching a two-year, $1.55 million project to investigate and address this unmet potential. The initiative, called Advancing Massive Open Online Courses MOOCs for Development, will be driven by research on online course enrolment in Colombia, the Philippines and South Africa.

The research will be conducted by the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington’s Information School, with support from IREX, a non-profit development organisation. The initiative will be unveiled at 3pm Central Daylight Time at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas.

The public-private partnership aims to harness the power of MOOCs to help young adults across the developing world grow successful careers, potentially leading to stronger economies. MOOCs are open to anyone – with no enrollment caps – and often free.“In many developing countries, traditional education systems are failing students,” said Rachel Blum, Senior Advisor for Youth Workforce Development at USAID.

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