Although they will not lead to formal degrees or turn those who take them into doctors, lawyers or engineers, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is making free courses by top lecturers available online to millions of people around the world.
The university has partnered with an organization called Coursera, which offers about 200 undergraduate and graduate courses in a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, literature, history and computer science. Along with lectures, the courses may include assignments, exams and online and in-person discussion forums.
Coursera has already partnered with leading universities such as the California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins, Princeton and Stanford. The Hebrew University – recently ranked the 53rd-best university in the world – is the first Israeli university to join the program.