If the first chapter in the evolution of massive open online courses was written in the US, it may well be in Europe that they make their next significant advance.

This is the view of Hannes Klöpper, co-founder and chief academic officer at Iversity, a Berlin-based MOOC platform that launched recently, writes Adam Palin for the Financial Times.

Klöpper argues that the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, or ECTS, presents an opportunity to transform MOOCs – free, standalone courses – from academic novelty to meaningful qualifications.

Under the ECTS, students can transfer credits for study already completed towards an appropriate equivalent degree in any of the 53 countries that have ratified the Lisbon Recognition Convention.

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