University taster sessions attract thousands

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More than 200,000 people from around the world have signed up for free higher education taster sessions being offered online by Edinburgh University.

The university became the first in the UK to join the Coursera consortium, set up by academics in the US last year to provide web-based undergraduate level courses to anyone who wants to access them.

The five-week courses, which will begin in January, cover six disciplines across the humanities, engineering and science.

Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea said: “Our success in attracting learners to experience what Edinburgh has to offer, at no cost to themselves, complements our expanding efforts in providing other forms of online learning including full postgraduate and other distance-learning courses.”