Date
21 November 2018
Anant Agarwal attributes the success of the edX online platform to open source structure and quality learning experience. Photo: HKEJ
Anant Agarwal attributes the success of the edX online platform to open source structure and quality learning experience. Photo: HKEJ

Online course provider edX to step up focus on SE Asia markets

EdX, a nonprofit consortium founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2012, has been providing and hosting massive online open courses – known as MOOCs – from elite universities and institutions.

The platform’s co-founder and CEO, Anant Agarwal, who is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, recently shared his thoughts and vision on the online education sector in an exclusive interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

During the conversation, Agarwal attributed edX’s success to its non-profit business model, its open source platform structure, as well as its quality learning experience.

With a team of 150, the platform expects to achieve break-even in two years, and will focus on expanding to the Southeast Asian market, he said.

In addition to the funding from Harvard and MIT, Agarwal said the firm’s income sources include the franchise fee of course providers, administration fee for issuing course diploma, as well as philanthropist donation. The firm has not taken a penny from venture capital firms, he told HKEJ.

On the platform’s latest development, Agarwal said edX has deployed artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology on several courses, in a bid to offer a more personalized learning experience.

Partnered with more than 130 universities and institutions around the globe, the online learning destination has offered high-quality courses online to about 18 million learners worldwide.

Among other initiatives, it has set up “Open edX”, an open-source platform that powers edX courses and is freely available, to help educators build learning tools to contribute to the platform.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 5

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal

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