• Switzerland edition
 
EPFL offers free online education with Coursera
Aerial view of Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology - EPFL (Photo: Alain Herzog)

EPFL offers free online education with Coursera

Published: 23 Jul 2012 11:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Jul 2012 11:13 GMT+02:00

EPFL is among 12 leading universities in Europe and the US to join Coursera, an internet platform created by two Stanford University academics.

Coursera offers free online access to courses offered by professors from 16 elite universities, such as Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley.

The courses do not provide credits toward degrees at the participating schools but instructors offer signed certificates to students who complete the studies.

A total of 111 courses are currently offered by Coursera in disciplines that range from computer science to humanities and social sciences.

“This is the future, and we must be part of it,” Martin Vetterli, dean of EPFL’s School of Computer and Communications Sciences, said in a statement issued on the institute’s website.

The “massive open online courses” or MOOCs are unique in that they can be taken by anyone in the world with no limit to the number of students enrolled.

EPFL is climbing onto the Coursera bandwagon with other institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, Duke, Johns Hopkins and the University of Toronto.

The Lausanne school is offering three computer science courses, including the first one to be offered on Coursera in French.

Professor Martin Odersky has designed a seven-week course for computer programming in the Scala language that begins on September 18th.

Students for this particular course are required to have previous knowledge of computer programming.

But other courses, such as one offered in French in introductory computer programming can be taken by beginners.

The name of the instructor and the date for the start of that eight-week course have yet to be announced.

The other EPFL computer science course, on “digital signal processing” starts in February next year.

“I have a feeling that (these kind of courses) will be a kind of tsunami in the academic world,” Vetterli said.

“We don’t know what the consequences will be yet, but it was important for us to participate from the beginning, rather than risk missing the boat!”

It is not clear how Coursera operates financially since its business model is a guarded secret.

But while courses are offered for free, students enrolled are required to pay for certificates granted upon successful completion of studies, with revenue shared to participating universities.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Switzerland set for Ebola vaccine clinical trials
WHO Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward holds a report on Ebola at a press conference in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Switzerland set for Ebola vaccine clinical trials

Clinical trials of two experimental vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus are due to begin soon in Switzerland, the country's Tropical and Public Health Institute said on Thursday. READ  

Anti-match-fixing treaty signed in Switzerland
Council of Europe chief Thorbjoern Jagland spoke against match-fixing in sport. Photo: Daniel Sannum Lauten/AFP

Anti-match-fixing treaty signed in Switzerland

Sports ministers from across Europe gathered in Switzerland on Thursday to sign a treaty aimed at rooting out the "scourge" of match-fixing and illegal betting in sports. READ  

Italian prime minister's dad in Swiss fraud probe
Renzi's father is being investigated for bankruptcy fraud in Geneva, according to reports. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian prime minister's dad in Swiss fraud probe

Investigators in Geneva are reportedly investigating the father of Italy's prime minister Matteo Renzi for bankruptcy fraud, Italian media reported on Thursday. READ  

Swiss creates Google Glass app for medics
The Google Glass app will allow paramedics direct contact with doctors in emergency situations. Photo: Rijans007/Wikimedia Commons

Swiss creates Google Glass app for medics

A doctor in Switzerland has created an app allowing paramedics to use Google Glass to improve the quality and speed of treatment for emergency patients. READ  

Rare Valais sheep feared stolen for meat sale
The Saas sheep has distinctive long, pendulous ears. Photo: ProSpecieRara

Rare Valais sheep feared stolen for meat sale

Police investigating the case of 103 sheep which disappeared from an alpine pasture near Saas-Almagell in the canton of Valais are treating it as theft. READ  

Swift exit for Swiss dream team in Tokyo
Bencic (left) was coached by Hingis' mother. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Swift exit for Swiss dream team in Tokyo

Former world number one Martina Hingis and rising star Belinda Bencic ended their first time together as a dream doubles team for Switzerland in the Pan Pacific Open second round on Thursday. READ  

Streaming service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
Programmes can be watched on a range of devices. Photo: Netflix

Streaming service Netflix arrives in Switzerland

Popular US video streaming service Netflix launched in Switzerland on Thursday morning after opening for business in Germany, France and Austria earlier this week. READ  

Czech spoils Bencic's upward rise in Tokyo
Swiss teen Bencic's upward rise beaten back. Photo: Paul Crock/AFP/File

Czech spoils Bencic's upward rise in Tokyo

Seventh-seeded Lucie Safarova battled back to beat wild card Belinda Bencic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday and reach the Pan Pacific tennis tournament quarterfinals, spoiling the Swiss teenager's upward momentum this year. READ  

Richemont shares drop on sluggish sales figures
Photo: Richemont

Richemont shares drop on sluggish sales figures

Shares in Geneva-based Richemont, number two in the luxury products world after LVMH, fell on Wednesday after the group reported falling sales in Asia. READ  

Health officials warn of vegan dangers for kids
Photo: AFP

Health officials warn of vegan dangers for kids

As veganism gains popularity in Switzerland, federal authorities are warning that a diet without animal products carries health risks for young children. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,099
jobs available