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First MOOC portal for Arab world will be powered by edX platform

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  November 12, 2013 05:02 PM

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The “first massive open online course portal for the Arab world,” spearheaded by leaders of the country of Jordan, will be powered by open source platform edX, the Cambridge-based collaborative education nonprofit founded last year by Harvard University and MIT.

The announcement comes one month after the Chinese and French governments announced separately that they would adopt the edX platform, becoming the first two countries to do so.

At edX’s offices in Cambridge last week, Jordan Queen Rania Al Abdullah joined other officials to formally sign the partnership with edX and to announce the creation of the MOOC portal Edraak, an education initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development.

“Using edX’s technology and tapping the best talent from our region and the Arab diaspora, we’re proud that we will be launching a MOOC platform for the Arab world,” said Abdullah. “Engaging, fresh, relevant – and, most importantly, in Arabic – MOOCs on Edraak will open up a world of possibility for intellectually hungry Arab youth.”

Edraak will offer, at no cost, Arabic translations of select courses from edX partners. The portal will also develop its own courses in Arabic with help from leading Arab faculty and professionals.

“EdX was founded on the belief that education should be freely available for everyone, like the air we breathe,” said a statement from edX president Anant Agarwal. We share Her Majesty Queen Rania’s vision to bring opportunity to those who need it most, through education, and are honored to join her in delivering the world’s best and most accessible learning experiences to the Arab world.”

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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