India's Bennett University and online education platform edX have signed an agreement for edX to be the worldwide provider of the University's first online courses. Bennett University, a Times Group organization, will work with edX to create a blended curriculum for its students.
Bennett University announced the collaborative effort with edX, part of which will be the creation and hosting of online courses on edX taught by Bennett University faculty. edX will provide the required technological infrastructure including private cohorts for the realization of the MOOCs. Vineet Jain, the Managing Director of Bennett University, expressed his optimism that the partnership will be beneficial for all Bennett University learners, The Economic Times reports. He explained:
"This is a milestone in the Indian education forum and I firmly believe the association with edX will assist graduating students to be industry ready from day one."
Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX and an MIT professor, highlighted the importance of the Indian education market and the fact that the collaboration will make higher education learning accessible to more learners, reports Business Standard.
"We are delighted with this synergetic association with Bennett University. We are certain that with the lineage of the Times Group, Bennett University will be instrumental in extending learning opportunities to learners who lack access to education and high quality resources."
At the agreement's signing, Agarwal and Jain confirmed that India has to improve its education standards to align with international benchmarks. Bennett University aims to implement a blended classroom model in which students will be required to watch edX video tutorials before attending classes and use in-class time to put into practice the knowledge and skills studied earlier, The Times of India says.
"We want to create a new kind of university that is unparalleled. A university without borders, a university that blends online learning and on-campus experience and gets the best of both." Anant Agarwal the edX CEO claimed.
With only 8 to 15 percent of the classes taking place online, the rest of the learning time will be dedicated to classroom-based activities that can advance students' learning.
Bennett University will accept its first students in the summer of 2016. According to the managing director of Bennett University, the collaboration with edX will offer faculty the training and support they need to be able to offer online and offline teaching to their undergraduate and postgraduate students. Faculty will be able to use the edX platform to design and develop their own classes as well.
Dr. Yaj Medury, the Vice Chancellor at Bennett, said the University will encourage students to take edX courses created by other educational institutions such as MIT, Harvard, UT and Berkeley, and then take the online exams to earn credit that will count toward their own Bennett University degree.
The institution kicks off classes in July with two courses of study: an MBA track and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The school guarantees that the 2018 MBA class will be offered a Times of India Group job.