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MOOCWatch 25: Advent of Online Degrees in India

India’s new generation of online degrees has been unveiled. It includes a $3300 BSc from India’s top engineering school.


MOOCWatch 25 Illustration

In 2020, Indian universities can now offer online degrees. Class Central compiled a list of the 50+ new UGC-backed degrees, such as a $3300 BSc in Programming & Data Science from IIT Madras, India’s top engineering institute.

It also made us wonder which other countries offer online degrees? We decided to find out.

India unveiled its New Education Policy, bolstering e-learning’s role. Students may now take 40% (up from 20%) of their degree online via Swayam, India’s official MOOC platform.

Class Central compiled a list of the 100 most popular courses during the pandemic. Combined, these courses have received around 12 million enrollments.

Registered Users in 2019, 2020 , and Total for Top MOOC Providers

COVID-19 has provided a boost to MOOC providers: 25-30% of their users joined during the pandemic. This allowed Coursera to raise $130 million at a $2.5 billion valuation. The company expects more than $200M in revenue in 2020.

In By The Numbers: MOOCs During the Pandemic, we share statistics about the top MOOC providers as well as some exclusive stats from Class Central.

We take a look at the rise and fall of Guokr MOOC Academy, China’s defunct Class Central. At its peak, the Academy partnered with major MOOC providers including hosting courses from Coursera directly.

And finally, Simon Nelson, FutureLearn’s first CEO, announced he’s stepping down at the end of the year.

Top Stories

Top 100 Courses During the Pandemic

The 100 Most Popular Courses During the Pandemic via Class Central
The coronavirus pandemic has increased interest in online education. These online courses saw the most enrollments during the pandemic.

50+ UGC-Approved Online Degrees from India’s Top Universities via Class Central
Starting in 2020, Indian Universities are able to offer fully online degrees.

By the Numbers: MOOCs During the Pandemic via Class Central

2020 Web Traffic

MOOCs post pandemic have reached a broader population with wider interests. Here are the numbers.

Create Learning Paths with Class Central Lists via Class Central
Lists give learners a tool to self-catalog courses of interest or to create self-learning paths. And not just courses, but any resource from the web.

Big Online Learning Provider Faces Calls for Refunds After Complaints via The Guardian
Shaw Academy is being investigated by Trustpilot over reviews amid soaring student numbers in lockdown.

MOOCs are Back — Even Though They Never Left via Class Central
Coursera expected to comfortably cross $200 million in revenues in 2020, Udacity almost ran out of money in 2018, and other tidbits from recent media coverage of MOOCs.

A Look at Coursera’s In-Course Data-Driven Features via Class Central
A look at the in-course features that Coursera has developed using data collected from their learners.

Class Central Exclusives

Countries with Online Degrees

Eight Countries Offer Online Degrees via Class Central
Our goal was to identify countries which offer fully online degrees provided by accredited higher education institutions.

The Rise & Fall of Guokr MOOC Academy: China’s Defunct Class Central via Class Central
The story of the Chinese MOOC aggregator and online learning community.

Udacity China to be Shut Down, Stops Nanodegree Enrollments via Class Central
Udacity China has been cutting staff and slowing down operations in preparation for a complete shutdown in late 2020.

FutureLearn CEO Simon Nelson to Step Down at the End of the Year via Class Central
Simon Nelson has submitted his resignation as the CEO of the company, which will take effect at the end of 2020.

7 Out of 8 EQUIP Participants Failed to Implement a Program via Class Central
The 50% cap prevents Title IV eligible programs from outsourcing more than 50% of their instruction to a third party. When eight schools were given an exemption from the 50% cap, only one school took advantage of it.

Pandemic Fueled Fundraising

Coursera Raises $130 Million, Now Valued at $2.5 Billion via Class Central
During the pandemic, the company has grown more than any other MOOC provider.

Masterclass Raises $100 Million via Techcrunch
This takes the total amount raised by the company to $235 million.

Skillshare Raises $66 Million via Techcrunch
The company now has 12 million registered members, 8,000 teachers and 30,000 classes — all accessible for $99 a year or $19 a month.

Udemy Seeks Funding at $3 Billion Valuation via The Information
Udemy had earlier raised $50 million at a $2 billion valuation back in February.

Unacademy raises $150 Million at $1.45 Billion Valuation via Techcrunch
The platform, which has 30 million registered users, has amassed more than 350,000 paying subscribers. Early this year it was reported that the company was hacked and details of its 22 million users were available for purchase for $2000.


10 Most Cited Research Papers on MOOCs via Class Central
To get an overview of the topics and trends in the research on MOOCs, Class Central has created a list of the most cited research papers on MOOCs.

Learning @ Scale 2020: Conference Highlights via Class Central
This year, the ACM conference went online to discuss the many forms of at-scale education worldwide.

Highlights from Coursera Partners Conference 2020 via Class Central
The conference included presentations from Coursera’s co-founders Daphne Kohler and Andrew Ng; Coursera’s CEO Jeff Maggioncalda; and Coursera’s product and data teams.

250 Universities Just Launched 900 Free Online Courses. Here’s the Full List via Class Central
In the past six months alone, 250 universities have announced 900 free online courses. Here’s the full list.


150+ Online Courses To Help Your Career via Class Central
Boost your job prospects in any occupation by taking some free or paid courses to help plan your career, develop your skills, improve your resume, and ace that interview.

50+ Free Online Courses to Care for Elderly People via Class Central
These courses discuss health and care issues common in older people or outline ways to improve your chances of keeping healthy for longer.

Harvard CS50 Guide: How to Pick the Right Course for You (with Free Certificate) via Class Central
Understanding Harvard’s CS50 course offering, which includes 10 courses and 7 free certificates.

Ace Your Coding Interviews with These Free Courses from Stanford via Class Central
Technical interviews used to be a challenge for me. But after doing these courses, I was able to clear a technical interview and find a job in Silicon Valley.

Microsoft Makes 250+ Hours of LinkedIn Learning Content Available for Free via Class Central
LinkedIn joins the ranks of course providers offering free online courses in response to the pandemic.

Earn a Master's Degree Online

55 Legit Master’s Degrees You Can Now Earn Completely Online via Class Central
Class Central’s compilation of MOOC-based degrees. We run through what you’ll learn, how much they’ll cost, and other benefits you might expect.

A Stackable Online B.Sc in Programming and Data Science for ~$3300 from IIT Madras via Class Central
The program gives learners the flexibility to earn a foundational certificate, an undergraduate diploma, or a full degree.

China’s Largest MOOC Platforms Go International, Launch Courses in English via Class Central
Chinese MOOC platforms XuetangX and iCourse are releasing free online courses in English for global learners.

UGC Increases Credits Allotted to MOOCs via Jagran Josh
The University Grants Commissions has increased the academic credit limit that students can earn from the Swayam MOOC platform to 40 percent from the existing 20 percent.

India’s New Education Policy Highlights via Hindustan Times
In late July, India announced an overhaul to the country’s education system, which reinforces the role of online education by facilitating credit transfer and degree stackability.

Previous MOOCWatch Editions

MOOCWatch 24: Bootcamps in the Wake of Lambda School via Class Central
Get up to speed on the bootcamp industry, including high profile bootcamps like Lambda School, as well as some of the other bootcamps that slipped under the radar.

MOOCWatch 23: Pandemic Brings MOOCs Back in the Spotlight via Class Central
The ongoing pandemic has increased interest in online education — MOOC providers, in particular, have all seen drastic growth, similar to the Year of the MOOC (2012).

MOOCWatch 22: The MOOC Hype Revisited via Class Central
It’s been almost nine years since MOOCs went mainstream. We don’t know if they have changed the world, but has the hype surrounding MOOCs had a bigger impact?

MOOCWatch is a digest of information related to MOOCs meant for professors and administrators, or others who are involved in education and want to stay up-to-date in the online education space. In addition to broad coverage, MOOCWatch also contains unique data, such as course popularity rankings, sourced from Class Central. Tell your colleagues about MOOCWatch and subscribe here.

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

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