[PRESS RELEASE 10 February 2014] One of the world's leading medical universities, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, now offers online MOOCs (massive open online courses). This gives hundreds of thousands of students worldwide access to the university's leading edge expertise.
"Karolinska Institute is one of the world leaders in its field and now meets the global demand for high quality university education. We have a lot to offer and we will be an important player in the international education arena," says Dean of Higher Education Jan-Olov Höög, noting that the Swedish university finds itself in good company.
The new online courses are possible through a collaboration with the international education group edX. It is a non-profit group which started as a collaboration between Harvard University and MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The idea is to have a joint platform for offering free, high quality education in a MOOCs format. Currently, the collaboration has expanded to include 31 universities around the world and the edX platform has more than 900,000 registered users. Karolinska Institutet works alongside a formidable group of highly ranked universities such as Berkeley, Toronto University and McGill University.
Karolinska Institutet will offer four MOOCs, and applications are already open for spots in the following courses:
"Behavioral Medicine: A Key to Better Health" - The course studies various behaviours and how they can be positively influenced. It targets anyone who wants effective tools for effecting behavioural changes.
"Explore statistics with R" - "R" is an open source tool that is used for statistical analyses and processing. The course includes statistics studies, but participants are also taught to use the "R" tool, which allows them to carry out professional statistical work.
"Pragmatic randomized controlled trials" - The course provides a foundation for independent carrying out, evaluation and quality assurance of randomised trials. The course provides participants with the expertise to design and carry out their own studies.
"An introduction to Global Health" - The course targets persons who want to study and know more about global health issues and challenges. Professor Hans Rosling, world famous lecturer in global health, provides a number of guest lectures throughout the course.
All of Karolinska Institutet's courses can be found on the shared platform www.edX.org where all types of students are welcome, regardless of background or qualifications. All that is needed is a computer and an internet connection.
"This also allows us to take important social responsibility. For a long time, we have wanted to share our amazing expertise and make our courses available to more students. Now we have finally found the forms for this, and this is just the beginning," says Nabil Zary, edX collaboration coordinator.
Dean Jan-Olov Höög also has high expectations for the courses starting this autumn: "I see a huge number of spinoff effects in MOOC. Karolinska Institutet gets global exposure and can attract good students in the international education arena. We also gain access via edX to others' expertise in education and technology, and can develop our own distance learning courses, while others gain access to our expertise. This could lead to exciting collaborations in the time ahead," Jan-Olov Höög notes.