Tel Aviv University and the Technion announced on Sunday their partnership with
the international education company Coursera, which provides free online
The two institutions will soon offer especially developed
classes in four study areas – including engineering, archeology, biology and
cultural studies – on the company’s website.
With the initiative, the two
Israeli universities will join some 80 higher education institutions worldwide
who are already signed up to Coursera, including Stanford University, Princeton
University and Yale University.
TAU and the Technion will thus join the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the only Israeli higher education institution to
be offering the service so far.
The Technion’s first online course, which
will focus on nanotechnology and nano-sensors, will be available in both Hebrew
and Arabic and conducted by Professor Hossam Haick of the Faculty of Chemical
TAU’s initial contribution to the website will consist of a
lecture about the rise and fall of Jerusalem under the Byzantine regime by
Professor Oded Lifschitz of the university’s Department of Archaeology and
Middle Eastern Studies.
In addition, a lesson in plant ecology and a
course on the rise of the modern Middle East will be offered.
excited about joining the initiative of Coursera, which not only gives us an
opportunity to contribute to society but will also advance the teaching on
campus,” said Prof. Daniel Lewin, assistant to the senior vice president for the
promotion of teaching at the Technion, in a statement.
University vice president Prof. Raanan Rein also welcomed the project and
said it “reflects TAU’s commitment to innovation in teaching” and increases
global exposure to higher education.
One of the founders of Coursera,
Daphne Koller, who is originally from Israel, said she was “honored” to work
with the two universities and to be able to “provide students with access to an
excellent education, free of charge.”
“Tel Aviv University and the
Technion will now be able to reach students in Israel and around the world, and
better spread their knowledge and expertise to thousands of people,” she added.