SOURCE: Coursera

Coursera

September 17, 2014 15:00 ET

University of Sao Paulo (USP) and State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) Join Coursera as First University Partners in Latin America to Create Online Courses for Portuguese Speakers in Brazil and Around the World

Coursera Expands Partnership With the Lemann Foundation to Create Teacher Professional Development Programs and Push Forward Translation Efforts

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL--(Marketwired - Sep 17, 2014) - Top education institutions in Brazil join Coursera today to create the leading open online education provider's first native Portuguese courses for learners in Brazil and across the globe.

Brazil's top two public universities, the University of São Paulo (USP) and the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), will develop courses targeted at Brazilian learners in high-demand topics from entrepreneurship to finance that will become available in early 2015. The Lemann Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social change in Brazil through education, will create teacher professional development courses targeting K-12 teachers. In collaboration with volunteers through Coursera's Global Translator Community, the Lemann Foundation has also led the translation of additional courses, tripling the number of classes available with Portuguese subtitles and bringing the number of courses available in Portuguese to 28 by the end of the year. In an effort to increase awareness of these educational opportunities in Brazil, Coursera is entering into a strategic partnership with R7, one of Brazil's largest web portals, where Coursera courses will be featured.

Coursera is the first open online education provider to partner with Brazil's top universities. Already representing Coursera's fifth largest user base (behind the US, India, China and UK), Brazilian learners have demonstrated their hunger for high-quality higher education. While Brazil is the world's seventh largest economy, less than 12 percent of the 25 - 64 year old population has a post-secondary degree according to the OECD, far below the average 32 percent for other OECD countries. Coursera's partnerships today will bring courses from the world's best Portuguese-speaking universities to the more than 215 million Portuguese speakers in Brazil and around the globe.

In celebration of these historic partnerships, Coursera Co-Founder and President Daphne Koller today joins Professor José Eduardo Krieger, Vice Provost of Research at USP and Professor João Frederico da Costa Azevedo Meyer, Vice President for Outreach and Community Affairs at UNICAMP at an event in São Paulo, Brazil.

"Since Coursera launched two years ago, we've been amazed and heartened by the huge number of learners in Brazil we've already seen gain value from taking our courses," said Dr. Koller. "Together with USP, UNICAMP and the Lemann Foundation, we hope to offer a wide range of courses from the world's best universities that give Brazilians and Portuguese-speaking learners everywhere opportunities for personal, academic and professional advancement."

"This partnership represents an important social contribution, because it opens a channel for a large range of courses that can be accessed freely by students on a global scale," said Professor Marco Antônio Zago, President of USP. "A public institution such as our university, in a country like Brazil, needs to be more comprehensive and inclusive to students and professionals at different levels. USP is a reference not only in teaching, but also in research, extension and cultural activities. I am convinced that a public institution must be increasingly accessible to everyone."

"With this initiative we are taking a significant step towards the democratization of learning, expanding the possibilities of access to the significant amount of knowledge generated at UNICAMP," said Professor Alvaro Penteado Crósta, Vice President of UNICAMP. "We have no doubt that, developed based on criteria, quality and responsibility, this form of learning can be of paramount importance for professional and intellectual development, not only for the Brazilian people, but also for the peoples of other nations that share our language."

"This partnership is a great opportunity for Brazilians to learn on a platform used by millions of students around the world and also to share the knowledge of Brazil's best universities with many more people," said Denis Mizne, CEO of the Lemann Foundation.

A live stream of today's event, including a keynote from Koller and a roundtable discussion among Coursera's Brazilian partners, will be available today here courtesy of R7 from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Brasília Time Zone (GMT-3).

About Coursera:
Coursera believes in connecting people to a great education so that anyone around the world can learn without limits. Coursera is on a mission to educate millions of people by offering classes from top universities and institutions online for free. Coursera's comprehensive education platform combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content and a global community of peers, offering students a unique online learning experience. Coursera has partnered with top-tier universities and institutions to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history, computer science and the arts, among others. Coursera is financially backed by California Institute of Technology, GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Laureate Education Inc., Learn Capital, New Enterprise Associates, University of Pennsylvania, and Yuri Milner. For more information, visit Coursera.org.

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