TU’s flagship MOOCs off to a flying start

TU Delft is going to have at least 30,000 more students registered in September. Registration for the university’s flagship MOOCs opened on EdX last month and the numbers are already sky high.

8,500 people have registered for the course on Introduction to Water Treatment and 19,000 have signed up for the one on Solar Energy.

“Our goal is to get at least 25,000 students per course. Water Treatment is right on target for this,” says Willem van Valkenburg, the head of the Education Technology team of TU. “Solar Energy is exceeding our expectations. At this rate we get more than 50,000 students,” he adds.

Interestingly, the applicants span a vast demographic. Valkenburg says the youngest student to apply is 14 and the oldest is 63. The majority of applicants are from 18-28, but a large number of 30-45 year olds have also enrolled.

The courses seem to be most popular with BSc students but a number of high school students and MSc students have also enrolled. In terms of gender however, the numbers are still dramatically skewed. In Water Management only 28% of total number of applicants is women and only 16% in Solar Energy.

However, the reach of the course is truly global. Students have registered from over 30 different countries, some of which are UAE, Italy, Iran, UK, Singapore, Japan, Egypt, Morocco and the Russian Federation. Even students from the Netherlands have registered, 136 for Water Treatment and 276 for Solar Energy.

The biggest numbers are from the US and India. For Water Treatment, 947 students from the US have signed up and 703 from India. For Solar Energy, 2290 registrations are from the US and 1913 are from India.

Talking about the popularity of the courses in the US, Valkenburg says, “The recent MOOC movement started in the US and got a lot of media coverage for EdX. Our courses on solar energy and water treatment attract a large audience because you can encounter these in your daily lives. So, people like to know more about them. Delft has a good reputation, so that also helps.”

If you want to sign up for the courses or just take a look at TU’s new venture, click here: 

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