NTU students can earn credits from taking online courses offered by top universities abroad

Students can earn credits worth up to 12 academic units that can be counted towards their graduation requirements. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Students at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) can take up massive open online courses (Moocs) as part of their undergraduate studies.

The university said on Thursday (May 14) in a statement that all 23,000 undergraduates, except medical students, can earn academic credits from completing selected online courses offered on Mooc platforms Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

Students can earn credits worth up to 12 academic units - equivalent to three to five courses - that can be counted towards their graduation requirements. Depending on their courses, they need between 108 and 140 academic units in total to graduate.

For a start, 86 Moocs have been approved. Many are offered by top universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US and Britain's Imperial College London.

These include courses such as The Analytics Edge offered by MIT, Machine Learning by Stanford University and Business Strategies for Social Impact by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

NTU said these courses provide students with the opportunity to supplement their learning beyond what is available at NTU, in areas of their interest or chosen specialisation.

The National University of Singapore also allows its students to count completed Moocs as part of their curriculum.

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Coursera, one of the largest providers of online learning with more than 3,800 courses, had recently announced that it is allowing its partners, including NTU students, to obtain a certificate for some Moocs free of charge if they register by July 31 and complete the courses by Sept 30.

Normally, graded assignments and certificates need to be paid for.

Professor Ling San, NTU deputy president and provost, said: "Ultimately, we hope that this new initiative will inspire our students to become self-directed lifelong learners and enhance their personal development and potential. Applying the knowledge gained from Moocs to real-life problems will also give students a competitive edge in their career."

Students can take the courses at any time - like during the holidays before the new academic year begins in August - and at their own pace.

New students starting their studies at NTU, and future batches of freshmen, may also earn credits for the Moocs on the university's pre-approved list that they successfully complete within three years before their matriculation.

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