edX and Saudi Arabia collaborate on a new MOOC portal to empower women and the disadvantaged

online-learning-saudi-arabiaedX, a nonprofit online platform affiliated with Harvard and MIT, provides open source software for anyone in the world with an internet connection. The courses are free and many countries have adopted edX including China and France.

In November 2013, edX and the Queen Rania Foundation launched Edraak, the first massive open online course (MOOC) portal in Jordan to “open up a world of possibility for intellectually hungry Arab youth,” according to the Queen.

With a booming youth population and rising unemployment, edX is capitalizing on a growing interest in information and online media among Arabic speakers by launching a new initiative with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor. This new Arabic online learning platform aims to empower women and the disadvantaged with critical 21st century skills.

What is the inspiration for the launching of this new platform?

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, said that MOOCs and online learning are very transformative technology. “It will truly help change education, which is a very good thing. Our hope is that it will be embraced from all over the world. It leads to economic prosperity.”

(Next page: Improving the quality of life with free education)

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