France’s higher education system is going online with an extra eight million euros being invested in Massive Open Online Courses (Moocs), AllAfrica reports.

France’s Minister for Higher Education, Geneviève Fioraso announced the new funding on Tuesday in addition to 12 million euros already planned to develop these online courses.

The first eight French Moocs start Thursday, via the French platform called France Université Numérique (Fun).

Some 88,000 people had already signed up for the 25 courses that are due to start this year.

These are taught by professors at some of France’s top universities, from the HEC business management school, to Sciences Po, France’s Institute for political science.

Fioraso said that France is lagging behind the US and the UK in developing Moocs.

“We are very late,” she told the press when announcing the measure. “In the US, in the UK, Moocs have been used for 15 years … This is a public investment to enlarge the influence of our universities and to improve the average level of knowledge of the whole population.”

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