The University of Queensland’s massive open online course (MOOC) provider, UQx , has registered more than 500,000 participants since releasing its first course on edX in March last year.
People from more than 190 countries have signed up for UQx courses, with learners from the US, India, Australia, the UK and China accounting for the highest numbers of enrolments.
UQx Director John Zornig said the rapid rise in registrations showed that global demand for quality education via MOOCs continued to grow.
“The enrolment numbers only tell a small part of the MOOC story,” he said.
“Each learner has their own motivation to seek out and undertake our courses.
“As our understanding of these motivations increases, we will be able to create courses even better suited to meet this growing demand for online education.”
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj congratulated the UQx team and applauded the many staff whose contributions to UQx allow people around the world to learn from a global top-50 university.
“UQx succeeds because entrepreneurial teachers and researchers make popular courses accessible to digital learners who have a range of cultural and educational backgrounds,” he said.
“UQx is massive, but it is also highly personal, and our educators are delivering genuine knowledge – as opposed to just information – to people worldwide.
“This has wonderful implications for intercultural understanding and collaboration.
“Critically, UQx also benefits our on-campus students, because as a charter member of edX we gain insights into how people learn, and these insights are in turn woven into our more traditional teaching.
“This will be a vital factor in the learning success of current and future students.”
UQx has eight MOOCs running on edX. Another six are being developed, covering subjects including philosophy, scientific enquiry, healthcare, English for academic study, and meta-skills courses in employability and teamwork.
Two of the courses, META101x: Philosophy and Critical Thinking and IELTSx: IELTS Academic Test Preparation , will be released in November 2015, with others to follow throughout 2016.
UQx courses The Science of Everyday Thinking and English Grammar and Style are responsible for 370,000 registrations and have been popular re-runs.
A selection of UQx MOOCs is running on XuetangX in China, contributing an additional 40,000 enrolments and putting China into the top five countries for UQx enrolments.
UQ is a charter member of edX , the only non-profit, open-source major MOOC provider.
edX was founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2012 and offers rigorous online university-level courses for free to anyone with access to a computer.
Click here to enrol in UQx’s current and upcoming courses.