SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Greg Ness, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Carlos Slim Foundation and Coursera Announce Strategic Partnership to Advance Education and Job Creation in Latin America

Collaboration Focuses on Learning as Pathway to a Better Future

MEXICO CITY -- (Marketwired) -- 01/29/14 -- Carlos Slim Foundation, one of Mexico's top philanthropic organizations, and Coursera, a leading massive open online course (MOOC) platform, have teamed up to improve access to education and employment opportunities throughout Latin America.

The strategic partnership reflects a joint commitment to support learning in Latin America, create jobs and foster transformative opportunities for a better life and livelihood. Announced today in Mexico City by Carlos Slim Helú, founder of Carlos Slim Foundation, and Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, the collaboration will focus on three shared goals:

  • Improving access to high-quality educational content in Spanish
  • Creating educational content focused on employability
  • Increasing access to physical spaces where students with limited Internet connectivity can take Coursera courses

The initiative will entail a major translation project to bring top Coursera courses into Spanish. Plans call for the translation of 50 courses by the end of 2014. The Slim Foundation has already worked with Coursera to translate Coursera's user interface into Spanish.

Mr. Slim stated: "Our alliance with Coursera will allow training in Mexico, Latin America and in the Hispanic community in the United States, promoting human capital at the highest level."

The joint education initiative will also work with leading universities in Latin America to identify and develop new Spanish-language courses tailored to local employment needs across Latin America. These courses will focus on high-priority subject areas, including computer science, teacher professional development, healthcare and public health, as well as essential professional skills such as communication and leadership. Some of the effort will focus on the creation and translation of Specializations, the multi-course certificate program recently introduced by Coursera to help students master skills in high-demand fields.

"We deeply respect both the approach and the impact of Fundación Carlos Slim, and are excited about our partnership to remove barriers to high-quality education for Spanish-speaking students," said Daphne Koller, Coursera's co-founder and co-CEO. "This partnership will help students develop skills in critical, fast-growing employment sectors in Latin America to make an impact on their lives and their communities."

The Foundation and Coursera will also work together to open up new ways for people in Latin America to discover and access relevant content. One effort involves the creation of a network of Learning Hubs, which provide learners with a rich learning experience that combines online and face-to-face instruction, giving rise to better retention and learning outcomes. The two organizations will create Learning Hubs by leveraging Carlos Slim Foundation's existing Casa Telmex network of 13 education spaces in highly populated low-income areas, its Telmex Hub, a technological innovation and education space in Mexico City, and a new Telmex Digital Library in the state of Veracruz. In the future, courses in key content areas may also be offered at Telmex Digital Libraries, a novel service that features more than 3,000 locations where students of all ages can enjoy free use of computers with Internet access.

About Carlos Slim Foundation
Created in 1986, through social programs of strong impact for the most vulnerable population, the Carlos Slim Foundation has directly benefited more than 36 million people. With a marked sense of social responsibility, efficiency, and proven results, the Foundation has programs on various fields, such as education, health, nutrition, social justice, culture, human development, support on natural disasters, protection and conservation of the environment, and economic development that contribute to improve the quality of life of population of all ages, fostering the development of human capital and generating opportunities for people, their communities, and therefore, their countries.
www.carlosslim.com/responsabilidad.html#carso

About Coursera
Coursera's mission is to educate millions of people worldwide by offering free online access to classes from top universities and institutions. Coursera's comprehensive education platform combines mastery-based learning principles with video lectures, interactive content and a global community of peers, offering students a unique online learning experience. Coursera is financially backed by GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Laureate Education Inc., Learn Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Yuri Milner, as well as a number of universities, including California Institute of Technology and University of Pennsylvania. For more information, visit Coursera.org

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