Worldwide Distribution of Kyoto University's CoursesJapan's First University to Join Online Educational System21 May 2013 - Education/University
Kyoto University announced on May 21 that it had joined "edX," an online educational system headed by Harvard and MIT, the first university to do so in Japan. EdX is a type of MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, which is an effort to webcast university courses. Kyoto University will start worldwide distribution from next spring.
Since the 2005 academic year, Kyoto University has been working on the publication of its courses and materials on the Internet via OCW, or OpenCourseWare. Joining edX is an extension of that effort.
EdX was established last spring. Anyone who has Internet access can take courses for free. Students can ask questions, and even submit paper and take exams online.
With 15 universities newly participating, including Kyoto University, Peking University and National Tsing Hua University in China, Seoul National University in Korea, Boston University in the USA and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, a total of 27 leading universities around the world will stream their courses. Currently, about 900,000 students around the world have already enrolled.
Alongside promoting its educational content to students all over the world, Kyoto University also hopes to facilitate international exchange among the students.
Hiroshi Matsumoto, president of the university, said, "We would like to learn from the world and improve ourselves through friendly competition. We want to provide courses very unique to Kyoto University, such as cultural studies on Chinese characters and classical Japanese literature."
Motonari Uesugi, professor of chemical biology, who will give a lecture "Chemistry of Life," expressed his goal, saying, "I want to give a lecture which encourages students to take the initiative to contribute their knowledge and ideas."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)