Swiss universities try to catch the MOOC wave

Free interactive online university courses known as MOOCs – massive open online courses – are quickly spreading far beyond the United States, writes Simon Bradley for the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology and other Swiss universities are keen to experiment.

The Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) is an early MOOC adopter. It became one of Coursera’s 33 university partners last June, offering a course in Scala computer programming to which 53,000 students signed up, five times the number on campus. Another Scala course is scheduled alongside new courses in English on digital signal processing, computational mathematics, Java computer programming, and scientific computing in French. EPFL plans to introduce 10 more courses by autumn 2013.

Other Swiss universities are also looking to take the plunge. Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) will possibly start a MOOC in autumn on an undisclosed topic. Geneva University is also preparing a course with either Coursera or edX and is likely to make a formal announcement within the next month.
Full report on the swissinfo site