Coursera, the world’s leading online education platform, has landed in Argentina by partnering with Universidad Austral (UA). In order to address the new challenges in higher education, UA and Coursera expand their superior quality educational offerings to the global Spanish-speaking community.
This initiative follows the growing trend to take educational contents into the online world, providing knowledge that tackles current needs and empowers youths, supplying them with the tools required for employment.
According to an impact study published by Harvard Business Review in September 2015, 62% of Coursera’s students in Latin America claimed that their top priority was to advance their professional careers, while 38% looked for academic advancement. This first study reveals that, of all the people using this platform for their professional or academic growth, 93% and 92% have benefited, respectively.
Additionally, the strengthening of online education in Argentina supports the goal established by the “Argentina’s 2012-2015 Decent Work Program” created by the World Labor Organization. This Program underscores the need to improve employment eligibility and availability, promoting greater ties among education, job training, and production sector requirements, with a special focus on youths.
“Top quality education should embrace the new technological paradigm of university learning, which establishes a new student profile, with behaviors that differ radically from those of traditional students,” added Fausto García, professor at IAE Business School, Universidad Austral’s business school.
The academic contents already available for enrollment include a specialized program and four individual courses focusing on knowledge associated with communications, marketing, and business.
Universidad Austral is Coursera’s first partner in Argentina (www.coursera.org/austral). This is an Argentine institution’s partnership with an international leader that intends to offer quality education around the world. UA, renowned for its classroom higher education programs and its personalized, student-centered approach, thus ventures into online education, as it has formerly only worked on some very specific online education projects.
“Universidad Austral’s education quality is exactly what our students are looking for,” said Giovanni Dubois, Head of Coursera’s University Partnerships in Latin America. “We are delighted to have built this new partnership with UA to expand our offerings in Spanish, the second most popular language at Coursera after English.”
Over 21 million students are enrolled in Coursera’s 1,400 courses from 145 internationally renowned universities across 28 countries. These schools include Stanford, Duke, Yale, and Pennsylvania in the United States; London and Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and Chile’s a Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes Colombia, among others in Latin America.
Indeed, Rick Levin, Coursera’s CEO de, noted, “Latin America is passionate about online education. Over three million students have registered in our platform. We are honored to further our commitment to expanding access to the best learning experiences in the region and in Argentina particularly by welcoming Universidad Austral as our first partner university in this country.”
In turn, Dr. Fernando Fragueiro, Universidad Austral’s Chancellor, referred to this partnership in the following terms, “This significant challenge drives UA to work with the highest e-learning quality standards, relying on a worldwide platform. We are pursuing a scheme that integrates innovation and new technologies to the wealth of knowledge found in classrooms and in the one-on-one relationship among faculty and students.”
Programs are open and free. Students can also receive a course certification for an administrative fee of USD 49.
Coursera’s modules offer flexibility, so that they can fit in people’s lives easily. Most offerings have been custom-designed and provide flexible deadlines for assignments. They also feature learning tools based on subject knowledge, interactive contents, discussion forums, and the opportunity to join a worldwide community of students, with subjects graded by peers and classmates. Depending on users’ pace, courses can last weeks or months. This is a powerful online learning experience.
For more information on Universidad Austral’s first courses available on Coursera, please visit the dedicated page created in our website, www.austral.edu.ar