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EPFL embarks on new horizons in continuing education

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Patrick Aebischer, Daniel Borel and Marcel Salathé – 2016 EPFL / Murielle Gerber

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EPFL embarks on new horizons in continuing education

People with or without previous university credentials will soon be able to acquire high-level digital skills through online programs offered by the EPFL Extension School. The programs will lead to a recognized qualification and ECTS credits. This initiative was made possible by the support of the swissUp Foundation.

Web and mobile development and data science will be at the core of the continuing education programs that the EPFL Extension School will launch in the summer of 2017. These online-only programs will not require participants to have any particular academic background or degree. Yet they will be extremely demanding, as they will offer participants the chance to become highly specialized in cutting-edge fields sought out by industry.

“The programs are designed to give participants high-level technological skills so that they can succeed both professionally and personally in the digital age,” says Marcel Salathé, the academic director of the EPFL Extension School.

Reasonably priced

With these online continuing education programs, EPFL aims to offer professionals the opportunity to acquire or certify their digital skills. The programs are meant to be completed over several months, and participants will be able to start a program when they want and work at their own pace. Those who successfully complete a program will receive an official certificate from EPFL along with ECTS credits.

The programs will be very reasonably priced, at around 250 francs per month, in order to make them accessible to everyone. The EPFL Extension School will provide individual support to participants.

Excellence in education

The EPFL Extension School was launched on 20 October by EPFL’s outgoing president Patrick Aebischer and its incoming president Martin Vetterli. It is supported by the swissUp Foundation, which was created by Logitech founder Daniel Borel. Convinced of the importance of a quality education, Borel created swissUp to support excellence in training and education in Switzerland. The foundation developed the first ranking of Switzerland’s specialized universities, and it finances the swissUp chair in engineering in the Laboratory of Life Sciences Electronics, currently held by Carlotta Guiducci.

Thanks to the support of industry partners like Google, Microsoft and Swisscom, participants in EPFL Extension School programs will have access to the latest technologies and applications in such fields as data science and web development.

With the Extension School, EPFL is making it easier for people to earn a high-level education. EPFL is now one of the top European universities in online learning thanks to its innovative teaching methods and its experience in creating more than 50 MOOCs in the past four years. Over 1.4 million people have signed up for its MOOCs, which include the course on the Scala programming language, one of the most popular MOOCs ever developed.

source : The Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

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