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BITS Pilani joins edX to launch new online courses

Birla
Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani is pleased to announce its
partnership with edX, a non-profit, open source learning destination offering
the highest quality education, both online and in the
classroom. BITS Pilani will join edX as a Contributing Member. It will leverage
the platform offered by edX to enhance the learning experience of its own on-campus
and off-campus students as well as offer MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to
reach out to students outside BITS. This new initiative will support the
objectives of BITS in expanding its technology footprint in education using tools,
technology and the edX platform.

In
this context, Vice Chancellor of BITS Pilani, Prof. Bijendra Nath Jain had the
following to say: “We are
most delighted to partner with edX at a time when BITS Pilani is in the
midst of implementing several projects aimed at becoming a leading technical university
in Asia. This partnership will enable BITS Pilani to enrich the learning
experience of students enrolled in our on-campus and off-campus programs, as
well as provide a platform to reach out to the world at large.”

Announcing
the initial agreement, Prof. Shan Balasubramaniam, Dean for Academic & Resource
Planning, said: “although BITS Pilani’s immediate focus will be to improve the
learning experience of its own students, BITS will also reach out to other
students in India and elsewhere. BITS Pilani will offer 60 courses over three
years for students across its four campuses and its off-campus programs through
the Edge platform of edX while also offering several courses every year as
MOOCs through edX to reach out to and engage with students outside the BITS
system.” Courses offered through these platforms will enable self-paced
learning with a variety of online digital content including recorded videos,
online exercises and computer-based simulations. For students of BITS this will
complement classroom-based learning. For others this will enable access to the
best-in-class faculty and academic resources at BITS Pilani.

Birla Institute of Technology &
Science Pilani (Rajasthan) is a “Deemed to be University”, established in June
1964 under the UGC Act. Its origins, however, can be traced back to the years
following 1943, when Late Shri G. D. Birla (a close associate of Mahatma
Gandhi) established Birla College of Arts, Birla College of Science, Commerce
and Pharmacy and Birla College of Engineering. These colleges were subsequently
merged into, what is today known as, BITS Pilani.

During 50 years of contribution to
“public good”, BITS Pilani has expanded beyond Pilani to three more campuses at
Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai. Today it offers undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD
programmes to over 11,000 students in various disciplines in Science,
Engineering, Pharmacy, Humanities, Economics and Finance, and Management. It
also offers a large off-campus program for industry professionals leading to formal
degrees from BITS. Today, BITS Pilani is on track to expand its on-campus and
off-campus student body and also transform itself into a research-focused
university.

EdX includes
founding members Harvard and MIT along with some of the world’s most
prestigious universities and organizations, such as Australian National
University, Boston University, Delft University of Technology, The University of
Texas System, Tsinghua University and the University of Queensland. EdX
is focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking
methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research on an open
source platform. Based in Cambridge, MA, USA, edX is focused on people, not
profit.

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