Twelve leading universities in the U.S. and Europe have joined Coursera, an Internet platform created by two Stanford University scientists that provides free online access to classes designed by academics at elite institutions. Coursera’s new participants include the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California at San Francisco in the U.S., as well as Edinburgh University in Scotland and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne.
Coursera already offers classes from Princeton, the University of Michigan, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania. Caltech and the University of Pennsylvania have announced a combined $3.7-million investment in Coursera. The classes offered by Coursera do not count as credit towards degrees at the universities involved, but online students receive certificates for completing their studies.