Expanding access to knowledge: our first Massive Open Online Course

Monday, 14 November 2016

We are delighted to announce that we will deliver the University of Oxford’s first ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). “From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development” will be led by Sir Paul Collier, the Blavatnik School’s globally renowned Professor of Economics and Public Policy and author of the acclaimed book The Bottom Billion. The course will examine the vital role government plays in economic development, analysing the political, social and economic factors that elevate any society from poverty to prosperity.

The course is part of a new online education partnership between the University of Oxford and edX, the leading nonprofit online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from more than 100 of the world’s leading universities and institutions to learners everywhere.

Ngaire Woods, Dean at the Blavatnik School, said: ‘The School’s mission is to improve government around the world through research and education, and this requires better educated public officials, teachers, entrepreneurs, journalists and citizens. We see this first massive open online course as an effective way to expand access to knowledge beyond the classrooms of Oxford, and to help people understand how their community and country can flourish wherever they are in the world.’

Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX and Professor at MIT, said: ‘We are honoured to welcome the University of Oxford, a world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research and the oldest university in the English-speaking world, to the edX global consortium. Our collaboration begins with content from the Blavatnik School of Government to provide our nine million learners with access to an innovative programme that offer insights from a range of academic disciplines and a strong global outlook. We are excited to partner with Oxford to further our shared mission to improve lives and increase access to high quality education for learners everywhere.’

The course is aimed at anyone with an interest in economic development, from university students and people working in government and NGOs, through to education and business professionals around the world. They will find the course, delivered by a world-leading expert on the topic, a useful tool to understand how political and social foundations interact with economic opportunities in developing countries.

For six weeks from February 2017, the course will present the most recent theories on economic development through video lectures, and apply them to case studies of individual countries, as well as comparative analysis, readings, quizzes, assignments and discussion forums. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand the factors that influence development and the different development paths that countries across the world have taken.

The course will be offered for free on edex.org and enrolment is open from now – please visit the course page on edX to find out more.