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EdX More Than Doubles in Size with Addition of 15 New Schools

Virtual education platform now spans four continents

By Amna H. Hashmi and Cynthia W. Shih, Crimson Staff Writers

Fifteen institutions of higher education joined edX on Tuesday, expanding Harvard and MIT’s one-year-old virtual learning venture for the first time to Asia and more than doubling the rapidly expanding platform’s size.

The 15 schools span the globe, with six additions from Asia, five in the United States, three from Europe, and one from Australia. Their addition brings the total number of universities in the nonprofit X Consortium to 27.

“As we continue to grow the X Consortium 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, in a press release announcing the additions. “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.”

The new additions in Asia include many of the continent’s most prestigious universities. They are Tsinghua University and Peking University in China, the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong, Kyoto University in Japan, and Seoul National University in South Korea.

With the addition of Cornell University, edX will expand to its second Ivy League school. The other American institutions joining edX are Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Davidson College, and the University of Washington.

The expansion into Europe includes Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, Belgium’s Université catholique de Louvain, and Germany’s Technical University of Munich. The addition of the University of Queensland marks Australia’s second entrant into edX.

The new members will offer courses on the edX platform beginning in late 2013 or 2014. These institutions will offer courses in topics ranging from the sciences and humanities to political science and language. Hong Kong University will offer “Vernacular Heritage in Asia,” “Chinese and Western Philosophy,” “Infectious Disease and Public Health,” and “Law, Economy and Society,” while the University of Queensland courses will include “Tropical Coastal Ecosystems” and “The Science of Everyday Thinking.”

—Staff writer Amna H. Hashmi can be reached at amnahashmi@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @amna_hashmi.

—Staff writer Cynthia W. Shih can be reached at cshih@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @CShih7.

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