Cambridge signals major shift towards online learning

New short courses aimed at professionals come with £2,000 price tag

May 18, 2021
University of Cambridge
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The University of Cambridge has launched a series of online short courses for professionals in a major expansion of its distance learning activities.

Cambridge Advance Online is developing 50 courses, each lasting six to eight weeks and priced at around £2,000, with learners receiving a certificate of achievement on completion.

Cambridge said that the courses would “reflect the Cambridge experience and values, with low student-to-tutor ratios and academically rigorous standards…centred on rich interaction between students and subject experts, and enhanced peer-to-peer networking”.

They will be taught by Cambridge academics and the first four will open for enrolment in July. They are: product technology roadmapping; bionanotechnology from theory to practice; business from bioscience; and research commercialisation and technology transfer.

Rather than partnering with an existing online platform, the initiative has been created in-house with Cambridge University Press, the institution’s publishing arm, and Cambridge Assessment, its exam board.

The institution said that Cambridge Advance Online would form part of a new overarching University of Cambridge Online brand, which “signals the expansion of the university’s online provision for learners across the globe, while maintaining and enhancing its exceptional in-person education for degree students in Cambridge”.

Stephen Toope, Cambridge’s vice-chancellor, said that the university would “bring vibrant new perspectives to business through these courses”.

“Although in-person teaching remains at the heart of a Cambridge education, the experience of the past year has further highlighted opportunities to enhance teaching with digital technology, and has only accelerated work already under way to expand our education offer through online learning,” Professor Toope said.

“Across the university – in departments and faculties – the flexibility digital tools can offer has been embraced, as it has across the world.”

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