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China’s Largest MOOC Platforms Go International, Launch Courses in English

Chinese MOOC platforms XuetangX and iCourse are releasing free online courses in English for global learners.

ICourse English Homepage Screenshot

Chinese MOOC platforms XuetangX and iCourse (also called Chinese University MOOC) are releasing free online courses in English for global learners.

Since February, the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools globally to suspend classes. Over 90% of students worldwide have been affected.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, on Jan 27th, 2020, China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) asked schools and universities to suspend the spring semester’s return to class.

Class Central has compiled a list of how different MOOC providers around the world are responding to the pandemic.

China’s Largest MOOC Providers Response

On January 30, XuetangX and iCourse responded by providing new MOOCs, free credit-eligible courses for on-campus students, and free SPOC tools like Rain Classroom and iCourse for Campus for university instructors. Free live training on how to teach online was provided throughout February by XuetangX.

Rain Classroom has gained 16 million new learners from February 17th to March 19th, and iCourse has helped 9 million college students learn remotely from February to April. In March 2020,  iCourse’s mobile app reached 5 million active users.

“The pandemic has challenged the global education system. Chinese universities have the responsibility to provide the best online education resources to learners from all over the world,” said in the virtual conference Wu Yan, Director of the Higher Education Department under the MOE.

So far, 193 courses from iCourse and 198 from XuetangX have been made available in English. The courses were either directly recorded in English, or English subtitles were added.

To learn more about China’s MOOC ecosystem, explore Class Central’s list of Chinese language MOOC providers.

Rui Ma Profile Image

Rui Ma

With a background in Health Statistics and Sociology, she has built a career path in Data Analytics.

Comments 5

  1. Selva Kumar C

    Some courses (Probability – The Science of Uncertainty and Data, Elements of Structures) by MITX found in XuetangX were taken from edX. Is that even legal ?

    • Dhawal Shah

      Many edX courses can be found on XuetnagX. This has been happening for a long time and they have some kind of formal partnership.

  2. bea

    I just enrolled for a course but the details of getting name authenticated are very unclear as it requires a chinese (pinyin) name and chinese ID. It also doesn’t specify how else the certificates are to be verified or if they’ll require payment later or if they’re reserved for chinese learners on;y. please update the information about the same, thank you.

    • Mark

      Rui Ma, how do we sign up for MOOC classes? Do we need a China phone number? I thought these courses were being offered internationally for “global learners”.

      Thanks for your help, please.

      • Rui Ma

        Hi Mark, thanks for your questions. For XuetangX, you can register just with your email and don’t need to provide a China phone number. For iCourse, your can sign in with your Google account directly.


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