Cambridge University Press has developed a new programme of courses for professionals worldwide to learn more skills.
Named Cambridge Advance Online, it will develop into a portfolio of 50 short, cross-disciplinary courses over the next five years. They will be created and led by University of Cambridge academics, and designed and developed by the press.
The initiative is the first for a new design and development unit, Cambridge Online Education, which aims to strengthen partnerships between the university, the press and Cambridge Assessment.
Anna Wood, m.d. of Cambridge Online Education, said: “The pandemic has accelerated the already increasing move to online learning and with it the need for easy, remote access to high-quality learning materials.
“At the same time, there is a growing desire from learners, teachers and researchers to engage with Cambridge in a joined up digital way, with innovative products that combine our expertise.
“These courses showcase the potential of that integrated approach and of an organisation that’s able to provide world-leading learning, assessment and academic research offerings globally, under the Cambridge brand and backed by first-class teaching and research departments.”
The first Cambridge Advance Online courses will open for enrolment in the summer and enable learners to develop skills and to specialise in emerging areas that address global challenges.
The certificated courses will reflect the university experience, with low student to tutor ratios and academically rigorous standards. Each course will offer participants the opportunity to join live sessions with academics and interact in collaborative exercises with learners around the world.
Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice-chancellor at the university, said: “Being able to draw together the combined expertise of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment allows us to develop these courses using the skills and experience we have ‘in-house’ and puts us in a unique position.
“It means we have the expertise and freedom to create a truly great digital product and be able to wield the right tools rather than make compromises. These courses will be as interactive as we can make them, with Cambridge tutors and academics leading discussions, and will ultimately create global networks of professionals. An exceptional learner experience is key, so Cambridge Advance Online will be tailored to meet the needs of individuals specifically in an online environment, rather than just trying to replicate an in-person teaching environment online.”