Fresh off an acquisition and the launch of a feature that enables partners to create course-integrated projects, online education giant Coursera is making a play for the world of brick-and-mortar colleges. Today the company announced Coursera for Campus, which it describes as a new program designed to help universities — even those that aren’t partners — supplement their course offerings with Coursera’s content.
Enrolled colleges gain access to more than 3,600 programs that they can integrate into student, faculty, and staff curricula. Preconfigured collections are available in domain areas like engineering, business, data science, law, health, arts, and design, all of which universities can offer directly or swap out with others from Coursera’s broader catalog (or with courses they’ve authored themselves).
Coursera for Campus customers can also tap Coursera’s online assessment and content creation tools, including analytics dashboards like Course Progress and Skills Index and the recently launched Coursera Labs for hands-on assignments. As for faculty, they’re able to publish private lessons, hands-on projects, assessments, and courses for students and alumni alike.
The company says Coursera for Campus has been piloted in more than 20 university campuses globally, including Duke University, the University of Illinois, and Manipal Academy of Higher Education. It’s generally available today, with additional functionality to come in the next few months.
“Hundreds of millions of job seekers will enter the workforce in the coming years, but higher education [institutions] in many countries [find] it difficult to deliver the skills students need in the age of AI and automation,” said Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda. “Coursera for Campus gives universities the ability to quickly respond to the demands of a rapidly changing economy. With access to content from 200 of the world’s top universities and industry educators, higher education institutions can easily enhance their existing curricula with critical digital skills and author online courses to keep pace with what employers need.”
Coursera — which has raised over $310 million to date at a valuation of $1 billion — was founded in 2012 by Daphne Koller, a Stanford University computer science professor, and former Baidu chief scientist and Google Brain veteran Andrew Ng. Both were reportedly inspired by their experiences developing online courses at Stanford in 2011.
Coursera competes with well-funded rivals like Udemy and Udacity, the latter of which was launched in 2011 by Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford professor who previously headed Alphabet’s X skunkworks (formerly Google X). As of August, it boasted over 14 degree programs and 3,600 courses from 190 university and industry partners.
The online education platform industry is anticipated to grow from $4 billion today to $21 billion by 2023, and Coursera has successfully carved out a chunk of that market. More than 43 million people have taken its courses, and its enterprise offering — Coursera Enterprise — has attracted 2,000 customers to date.