edX-IMF Online Link
edX—the Harvard-MIT online learning venture for higher-education institutions—on June 19 announced that its technology platform would be used for the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) training courses in macroeconomics and finance. The IMF will not become a partner of edX; this application represents an extension of edX’s technology (which is being made available as open-source programming tools) to a new teaching context.
According to the news release, the first two IMF courses (“Financial Programming and Policies” and “Debt Sustainability Analysis”) will be made available to small groups of government officials in coming months. The Boston Globe reports that the courses are intensive, two-week programs; in the online versions, students will be able to work through the material at their own pace. If the pilot succeeds, edX anticipates extending it to more IMF courses and perhaps to other nonpartner institutions.
The courses will be made accessible to the public in 2014. In a statement in the news release, Sharmini Coorey, director of the IMF's Institute for Capacity Development, said:
We are delighted to join with edX in this new initiative, which will allow us to respond to the demands for more training from our member countries. The training we provide is aimed at increasing the capacity of officials to analyze and formulate sound macroeconomic and financial policies. We look forward to being able to offer online access to a broader audience through future massive open online courses. We hope that these short courses will be useful to students and teachers, the financial services industry, members of parliament and civil society, and many others, thus promoting greater understanding of economic policy issues.
The IMF currently offers training courses to central-bank, finance-ministry, and other officials from its 188 member countries. During 2012, it said, it provided training to 7,800 officials through eight training centers and programs.