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US unis dominate in world’s first MOOC rankings

The first-ever world university rankings based on the performance of massive open online courses was released this November, with US universities taking seven of the top 10 spots. 

MoocLab has published the world's first MOOC universities ranking. Photo: Pexels/Ree

The top spot was taken by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands

The rankings were compiled by online learning resource website MoocLab, who evaluated institutions on the basis of the number of MOOCs provided, the provision of learning pathways, micro-credentials, degrees and the institution’s average world ranking.

“This is testament to the hard work of our colleagues across the business and broader university”

Over 200 universities across the world were assessed, all of which offer courses on the three leading MOOC platforms – Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

“The World University Rankings by MOOC Performance aim to provide performance information and comparisons to potential students across the core areas of university MOOC activity,” said Carolyn McIntyre, founder of MoocLab.

“With the increasing number of higher education institutions delivering MOOCs and MOOC-based credentials and degrees, I am excited about the opportunities these rankings will provide in supporting universities to evaluate their MOOC performance, set strategic goals and enhance their MOOC-based offering,” she added.

The top spot was taken by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, followed by the University of Pennsylvania, which was one of seven US universities in the top ten.

Others include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While the rankings were largely dominated by the US institutions, Coventry University in the UK and Deakin University in Australia, also made the top 10. 

“We are hugely proud to have been ranked fourth,” said professor John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University.

“Having only been in the market for two years, we have outperformed many other well-established brands both within the UK and internationally, and this is testament to the hard work of our colleagues across the business and broader university.

“We are still in our infancy, but we will grow our proposition significantly, leading the transformation of the global online education market,” he added

A total of 20 countries featured in the top 100, but US universities dominated with 38 institutions listed. The UK and Australia both accounted for 11% respectively.

After North America (42%) and Europe (31%), Asia was the third strongest region for universities providing MOOCs, representing 14% of all universities listed in the top 100 with Latin America tailing the league table with just two universities.

Since 2015, the number of universities across the world delivering MOOCs has increased by over 85% and there are over 70 million people taking courses across Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.

FutureLearn currently partners with 18 universities listed in the top 100 including 2 in the top 20 and 2 in the top 5.

“I’m delighted to see so many of our partners in the top 100,” said Simon Nelson, chief executive of FutureLearn.

“We are extremely proud to partner with universities that share the same commitment and passion for providing exceptional and invaluable online courses that enable people to learn for the love of learning, as a pathway to further education, or to develop skills to further their careers.”

 

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