“LET’S FIRST BAKE THE CAKE AND THEN PUT CHERRY ON TOP”- An interview with Carlos Souza, Co-Founder of Brazil’s largest MOOC platform Veduca

After the US and India, Brazil today occupies the third place when it comes to the number of students participating in online education. Yet, the offer of courses is still limited. While globally, the movement started taking off globally in 2012 with several pioneering providers opening the doors for a truly massive reach, in Brazil, it was the startup Veduca that brought top quality education to the country’s remotest areas.  Written by Gioia Deucher, CEO swissnex Brazil.

carlos souza



MOOCs in France: let’s have FUN

In summer 2013 France had accumulated considerable delay in catching the massive online open courses wave with a very limited amount of MOOCs (CLOM -cours en ligne ouvert et massif- in French). Only 3% of French universities were offering online courses (vs 80% in the US) and there was an ongoing debate about integrating the US based platforms vs developing a European and French speaking platform. 2014 started with a sudden rush to get onboard and it now looks like there is a kind of French “MOOCmania”, raising other substantial issues such as the preservation of the French vision of knowledge as an uncommercial value. Written by Meichtry Matadin Yasmin, STC, Swiss Embassy in Paris (more…)


More than ever, is the acknowledgement of the interplay between social, economic and technological developments with education standing as the pivot for convergences? These development links give birth to a dynamic global and national learning environment influenced by the internationalisation of Higher Education; an increased demand for education and life-long learning; changing academic demographics and experience; and the challenge of affordability.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Africa/South Africa are receiving attention from academia and politicians. The following questions immediately come to mind: Does Africa/South Africa need MOOCs, and if so, are we ready to embrace MOOCs? Both questions appear to be straight forward. However, according to literature, mainstreaming MOOCs into a diversified education system requires taking into account the challenges repeatedly voiced on public platforms and the media. Written by Jacquelene Friedenthal, STC, Swiss Embassy in South Africa (more…)

MOOCs from the world’s best universities: MIT and Harvard gamble on open-source, free edX for everyone, everywhere – insights from swissnex Boston

The last two years have witnessed the latest development in higher education: the onset of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Claimed to be the downfall of the traditional form of higher education and to pose an imminent threat to the contemporary university model, MOOCs have gained a lot of attention from educational institutions, but have yet to prove to be a viable alternative for meeting the needs of the education sector. In the meantime, universities worldwide are carefully observing and assessing this latest trend of offering courses online to students. Even top tier, traditional Ivy League schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have succumbed to the MOOCs fever and have cooperatively founded their own MOOC platform called edX. Written by Felix Moesner, swissnex Boston


Digital Education and Economic Opportunities: The Humanities as a Digital Science – An Interview with Michele Petochi, Managing Director for EPFL in Venice.


Inside the Archivio di Stato di Venezia (©DHLab-EPFL)

Going digital is not simply bringing new tools for transmitting and diffusing knowledge – it also transforms its very production. As everyday life is increasingly digitalized, what are the possibilities and challenges offered by big data and how do they become sources of knowledge? How to offer traditional resources such as archives a new, accessible life? These are some of the questions addressed by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Michele Petochi tells us more about it. Written by Ruth Theus Baldassarre, STC Rome (more…)