Washington, D.C., July 10, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, will invest $5 million to support the
expansion of Coursera, a global platform for free online education classes
that holds great potential for promoting access to high-quality university
and vocational education for millions of students in developing countries.
“We created Coursera in response to real and pressing demands for quality,
accessible education around the world, and today we are proud to be part
of a growing movement that is making a tangible impact on this global challenge,”
said Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera.
“We’ve only just begun to realize the potential for technology to transform
the way professors teach, the way universities and colleges deliver knowledge,
and the way people access education, and we look forward to expanding our
team, our partners, and our audiences to explore the many possibilities,”
added Daphne Koller, another co-founder of Coursera.
Since its launch in April of 2012, Coursera has achieved remarkable growth
and momentum toward its mission to expand quality learning opportunities
around the world for free. Working together with 83 educational institutions
across four continents, Coursera now offers around 400 free online college-level
courses to more than 4 million students around the world. These include
a range of courses that promote lifelong learning and vocational education
and make students more attractive to employers.
“Demand for education in developing countries is growing rapidly due to
population growth and the rising share of students seeking university education,”
said Elena Sterlin, IFC Senior Manager for Health, Education, and Services.
“Coursera’s innovative model is a breakthrough in delivering low-cost
university and continuing education to students through online courses.”
IFC is the largest multilateral investor in private education in emerging
markets, investing to improve access, lower costs, and help students prepare
for employment. IFC’s education portfolio stands at more than $660 million,
encompassing 42 projects in 24 countries, including several of the world’s
poorest. The total value of these projects is about $1.8 billion.
In 2011, IFC’s private education projects helped benefit 1.4 million
students while providing employment for 60,000 people.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Coursera believes in connecting people to a great education so that anyone
around the world can learn without limits. Coursera is on a mission to
educate millions of people by offering classes from top universities and
institutions online for free. 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 has partnered with top-tier universities
and institutions to provide courses across a broad range of disciplines,
including medicine, literature, history, computer science and the arts,
among others. Coursera is financially backed by California Institute of
Technology, GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Kleiner Perkins
Caufield & Byers, Laureate Education Inc., Learn Capital, New Enterprise
Associates, University of Pennsylvania and X. For more information, visit