HEC launched Affordable Competitor Of Coursera/edX recently. The HEC’s Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP) project held the third gathering of a group of 11 universities in Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Islamabad to develop high-quality Asynchronous online courses that will be part of the brand new undergraduate core curriculum in the nation.
The consortium was created in response to the knowledge and passion of these universities in establishing and delivering high-quality online learning platforms as well as massive online courses.
It comprises AIOU Islamabad; Agha Khan University, Karachi; Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta; COMSATS University, Islamabad; Habib University, Karachi; Hazara University, Mansehra; Lahore College for Women University; Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS); National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST); University of Baltistan, Skardu; and Virtual University, Lahore. Vice-Chancellors (VCs) and the top officials from these universities were present at the conference.
HEC Launch Affordable Competitor Of Coursera/edX in Pakistan 2023
The Executive Director of HEC the Executive Director of HEC, Dr. Shahista Sohail, chaired the event. In her opening remarks, she declared, “As a woman, I am delighted to be part of this initiative since it will benefit everyone regardless of gender. Pakistan will allow women to contribute to the economy, without having to compromise their duties at home or in official positions. Women, especially those in the most disadvantaged areas will benefit from this as mobility is an issue for women in a variety of areas in Pakistan.”
VC AIOU, Dr. Nasir Mahmood, greeted the guests and promised his full support for AIOU. The discussions were directed by Dr. Mahmood Butt, Project Coordinator of HEDP who stressed the importance of universities’ involvement in formulating policies and determining the best way to go to ODL as well as Pakistan.
The new curriculum includes eleven core courses derived from five categories that are part of HEC Undergraduate Courses in Policy. These universities will offer classes on PakistanEdX and offer multi-lingual options within these five categories: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Quantitative Skills, Natural Sciences, and Expository Writing.
Pakistan EDX is an important initiative that was launched under the HEC’s HEDP project that is supported by the World Bank. It aspires to provide Massive Open Online Classes (MOOCs) which are compatible with internationally recognized platforms, i.e., Coursera, and edX, with the idea of broadening the scope of high-quality education at an international scale, specifically for remote and marginalized regions.
Pakistan will offer subsidized courses (MOOCs) to youth who are not privileged and taught by top-quality faculty. The platform was developed by the same group that is a key creator for a variety of international learning platforms, including Harvard/MIT’s edX, University of California San Diego, edX, and Wikimedia. The technology developed by this company has been used by more than 55 million students across the globe.
This platform is enhanced with an HEC PERN project which is expanding internet access of high quality to all universities and affiliated colleges. These initiatives are crucial for provinces such as Balochistan and interior Sindh and the newly formed districts of KP and Far Punjab.
Quality assurance, sustainability, and financial models were discussed in depth with the goal to ensure the highest quality and accessibility. The university representatives were able to provide their opinions on the financial and technical procedures for the implementation of this project.
VC LUMS, VC AIOU along with VC Virtual University, physically present at the meeting were able to commit to contributing to PaskistanEdX. The discussion concluded with the setting of dates for the acceptance of credits from online courses, the minimum number of contact hours needed, and drafting Expressions of Interest for developing courses.