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Regular version of the site

Platform of Evolution: Education Systems in the Post-COVID World

Platform of Evolution: Education Systems in the Post-COVID World

© HSE University


The HSE eLearning Office will participate in the international Coursera Conference. The event, hosted by Coursera, HSE's strategic partner in the global distance learning market, will take place from April 19 to 21. Ekaterina Zinkovskaya of HSE’s eLearning Office talks about the conference and what positions HSE holds in the field of distance education.

The migration of academic programmes of the world’s leading universities to online platforms is a key trend in the digital era. Massive open online courses, specializations, and programmes are gradually replacing standard in-person courses, some of which are attended by only 15% of students. According to a study by Class Central, the year 2020 accounted for a third of world-leading MOOC platform total enrollments. Coursera’s enrollments increased by 31 million in 2020 compared to 8 million in 2019, while EdX recorded a twofold increase in new users, totaling in 10 million enrollments. Future Learn gained 5 million new registered users, up from 1.3 million in 2019. Enrollments on Class Central increased to 800,000 users, compared to 350,000 in 2019.

Online learning not only requires 100% student involvement and ensures a strong mastery of course material. It also frees up the professor’s time for research activity. The distance format entails holding classes in teleconference format: students from all over the world can sign up for seminars and classes with the participation of leaders of the academic community. In 2020, 180 million platform users took open courses and studied in programmes offered by 950 universities.

Over the next 20-30 years, the educational community will have to master a mandatory set of digital technologies: gamification, big data analysis, and adaptive learning

From Plagiarism to the Digital Universe

The annual Coursera conference brings together recognized industry practitioners. The conference sessions cover a wide range of topics, from solving an important problem in the education industry — how to detect plagiarism — to finding tools for the digital growth of organizations. The Coursera expert community is represented by 200 organizations from more than 75 countries around the world. United by the idea of ​​improving education, they strive to literally build a better world. The slogan of the event is ‘Building a More Just World Together’. Panel discussions will touch upon the issues related to areas of growth in educational systems in the post-COVID world and what kind of role the unification of universities, businesses, and governments will play in jointly solving professional problems.

Conference speakers include Jeff Maggionkalda (Coursera), Josh Bersin (JB Academy), May Al Taee (Abu Dhabi School of Government), Jason Wingard (Columbia University School of Professional Studies), Vidya Krishnan (Ericsson), and many other experts.

The Move to Open Remote Education

Long before the pandemic and the era of social distancing, HSE University recognized the opportunities that reaching a global audience opens for a university. HSE began working with Coursera in 2014 and soon launched 14 massive online university courses on the platform. The expertise of Russian scientists and scholars has become available to students from different countries who do not have a geographical connection to the HSE campuses. HSE has been intensively building up its presence on the platform.

Today, the University is among the top three universities in the world in terms of the number of courses on the platform. Our 146 courses are attended by 3.6 million people from 195 countries of the world.

Evgenia Kulik, Director for eLearning, HSE University

Over the past two years, the University has changed its strategy for producing content for global platforms. Now the emphasis is not on the development of a large number of individual courses, but on the creation of comprehensive educational online products: diploma-granting specializations and programmes. Thus, we are creating a wide range of online products, concentrating on the most modern formats. In creating these new formats that are in demand by the market, HSE is now the leading Russian university and one of the top-ranking universities internationally.

In February 2020, HSE became the first and only Russian university to launch an online Master’s programme — the Master of Data Science programme — on Coursera. The programme joins the ranks of 26 Master’s degree programmes offered on Coursera by leading universities in the world, including Imperial College London, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, HEC Paris, and Macquarie University.

Significantly, today the overwhelming majority of HSE faculty (70%) see new opportunities in digital technologies.

Age of Discovery

The online Master of Data Science programme prepares students for careers in data science, machine learning, and research. The programme has attracted students from 36 countries: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, India, the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, and others.

In 2021, HSE University will open four new online degrees on Coursera:

 Master of Computer Vision (developed by the Faculty of Informatics, Mathematics, and Computer Science of HSE – Nizhny Novgorod and leading experts from Huawei, Itseez3D, Intel, Harman, and Xperience.ai);

 Master of Finance (developed by the HSE Banking Institute and based on the CFA Institute curriculum);

 Master of Business Analytics (developed by the Faculty of Economic Sciences and focused on global financial markets, corporate finance, and risk management);

 Master of Data and Network Analytics (developed by experts from the International Laboratory for Applied Network Analysis and aiming to fill the shortage of experts in data analysis, which will be observed in developed countries of the world in the next 7 years).

The eLearning Office of HSE University in collaboration with colleagues from The University of Illinois Gies School of Business, the Center for Academic Innovation of the University of Michigan, and the Office of Academic and Learning Innovation of the University of Colorado Boulder will participate in a session dedicated to developing Master's programmes on Coursera. Participants will share their experience of successfully launching full-fledged online programmes and discuss what key factors influence a university’s decision to create distance programmes.

An interesting fact about the universities participating in the roundtable ‘Partnering with Coursera for Your Online Degree’ is that each of them offers a Master of Data Science programme on the platform. The online discussion will touch upon the topic of competition and the positioning of online programmes on the platform.

Combined Efforts

During a speech at EStars-2020, a joint conference organized by Coursera and HSE University, Coursera CEO Jeff Maggionkalda noted that no other university in the world is launching so many new online Master’s programmes on the platform. ‘Thanks to the efforts of HSE University, Russia is gradually moving towards the leading positions on Coursera.’

HSE’s leading role on the platform is also emphasized by the fact that HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin has been invited to join the Coursera Council. The Global Council is made up of university leaders who are strategic partners of Coursera. His work focuses on the institutional aspects of developing a high-quality online educational environment. Today, the Council brings together leaders of the world’s top universities: the University of London, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Duke University, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a number of other universities.

Sergey Roshchin, Vice Rector, HSE University

Coursera is a long-standing and significant global partner of HSE University. We share common values ​​with Coursera: the wide use of innovative teaching technologies and providing students from around the world with access to quality education. An open dialogue with colleagues and a joint search for paths of development will help us expand the horizons of distance learning. The presence of HSE University on the Council is a new step towards the development of international relations between colleagues from Russian and foreign universities, as well as a unique opportunity to present our expert experience on the global market.

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