11 European countries launched the first pan-European university MOOCs (massive open online courses)

The European Commission welcomed the launching of the first pan-European 'MOOCs' (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative. The initiative is led by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and mostly involves open universities. So far, it counts with around 40 courses, covering a wide variety of subjects, will be available free of charge and in 12 different languages.

The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), that mostly involves open universities from France, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, UK, Russia, Turkey and Israel, launched the first pan-European university MOOCs (massive open online courses), with the support of the European Commission. In April 2012, the Commission called on member states to urgently modernise their higher education systems.

Courses can be taken either in a scheduled period of time or anytime at the student's own pace. They typically involve from 20 to 200 hours of study. All courses may lead to recognition: a completion certificate, a so-called badge, or a credit certificate that may count towards a degree. In the latter case, students have to pay for the certificate, with the cost ranging from €25 to €400, depending on the course size (the hours of study involved) and institution.

With regard to the courses subjects, they range from mathematics to economics, e-skills to e-commerce, climate change to cultural heritage, corporate social responsibility to the modern Middle East, and language learning to writing fiction. Each partner is offering courses via its own learning platform and at least in its home language. The current choice is from the 11 languages of the partners plus Arabic.