University of Cambridge to offer online courses to professionals worldwide

The new initiative, produced by Cambridge academics, aims to help learners develop and specialise their skills in areas addressing global challenges

The University of Cambridge is to start offering online courses aimed at professionals worldwide who want to learn more skills.

Cambridge Advance Online has collaborated with Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment to develop a portfolio of 50 short courses over the next five years, starting from September, that will allow learners to “develop their skills” and “specialise in emerging areas that address global challenges”, according to the University’s website.

The cross-disciplinary courses, created by the Cambridge academics who will lead them, are being designed and developed by Cambridge University Press to “meet the needs of today’s professional learners.”

Due to the pandemic changing attitudes to online working and learning, which has “galvanised the University’s digital ambitions”, the Cambridge Advance Online initiative “aims to reach people around the world who are looking to upskill, gain further education and distinguish themselves in the post-pandemic job market.”

The certificated courses will provide participants with the opportunity to join live sessions with academics and interact in collaborative exercises with learners worldwide. The new course will take place online but will still “reflect the Cambridge experience and values” of low student to teacher ratio and academically rigorous standards. 

The first four Cambridge Advance Online courses open for enrolment in July include: Product Technology Roadmapping; Bionanotechnology from Theory to Practice; Business from Bioscience, and Research Commercialisation and Technology Transfer. Each course is eight weeks long, and costs range from £1,950 to £2,200 and require between eight to 10 hours commitment per week,  depending on the course taken.

Vice-Chancellor for the University, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “Although in-person teaching remains at the heart of a Cambridge education, the experience of the past year has further highlighted opportunities to enhance teaching with digital technology, and has only accelerated work already under way to expand our education offer through online learning.”

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Graham Virgo, 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.”

Anna Wood, Managing Director of Cambridge Online Education at the Press said the new programme would “give forward-thinking professionals the opportunity to harness the latest ideas, discussions, research,  and innovations from Cambridge to change society for the better.” 

Feature image credit: Matilda Head and Cambridge Advance Online