British universities join online education revolution
LONDON (AFP) - Dozens of British universities began offering free online courses on Wednesday through a collective portal, joining a global trend started in the United States that opens higher education to the masses.
They are initially offering 20 courses, including causes of war from King's College London, studio production from Queen's University Belfast and introductory particle physics from the University of Edinburgh.
Pre-registration opened on Tuesday and in one day 20,000 people from 158 different countries signed up - even though the portal site will not be completed for several months. Until then, it will run in beta phase, without all the finishing touches, so organisers can see how it works.
The scheme brings British universities in line with many of their rivals in the United States, where so-called massive open online courses (MOOCs) are hugely popular.