University of Toronto to offer free online courses


The University of Toronto will be offering some of its courses free online this year. This may signal diminishing resistance of Canadian universities to the growing movement in the US for free online university education.

U of T will offer five free classes in the coming year in partnership with US company Coursera, a company based in California. It will be the only Canadian university working with the company, which has attracted 700,000 students.

The Star quotes Cheryl Misak, U of T’s  provost, as saying “It’s a great service to the world and it’s great for the University of Toronto. This is the most open of all courses — anyone sitting in any country around the world with access to a computer can take the course.” The courses are not for official credit.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pioneered the free delivery of university courses through a service called  MITx. Canadian universities have not yet shown the same level of enthusiasm.

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University of Toronto to offer free online courses

  1. There we go! Should make the Quebec students happy!!!

  2. Canada needs to do much more to improve the productivity of post-secondary education.

    What’s really a drain on limited resources are these private business colleges. They are like used-car salesmen who max out student loans and require additional $10,000 student lines of credit. We need more government regulation to keep students from being exploited. We also need to expand public college courses to fill the need with a greater online component to cut costs.

    Skilled workers are a vital component to raising productivity and living standards. When students are on the hook for oppressive student loans they are wasting a lot of their disposable income on interest payments to banks that could otherwise be put back into the economy.

    It also doesn’t make sense to allow banks to collect 5% interest on loans that are guaranteed by the government. It would be better for the government to loan the money at the lowest possible rate considering it is on the hook for the money in any case. Then students can pay down their loans faster.

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