February 21, 2013
By David F. Carr
Coursera is adding 29 new university partners, including Penn State, Case Western Reserve, Rutgers and institutions in 13 countries.
Added to the 33 universities already on board, this expansion nearly doubles the reach of Coursera. "We're already the largest MOOC [Massive Open Online Courses] platform in the world by almost any metric you could choose," said CEO and co-founder Andrew Ng said. "I see this as a sign that universities all around the world are signing on to this mission of offering the best education to everyone, for free."
In reality, the pattern may be more to offer a taste of the best education for free. At Penn State and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), one motive for participating is that Coursera could serve as a recruiting tool, although representatives from both universities promised not to make it a hard sell.
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