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Millions of Russians ushered to free e-education as Universarium comes online

Universarium.org, a month-old Russian online education project supported by leading Russian universities, offered its first set of full lectures this past Monday

Jan 31, 2014
Officially launched on December 23, 2013 as a "Christmas and New Year present," the effort, backed by the Russian news agency RIA Science and the government-owned Agency for Strategic Initiatives, is designed to give Russians free remote access to quality education delivered by this country’s top professors. It enables users to choose their own syllabi, arrange training during their most convenient time in the day, and complete interactive homework.

During seven-to-ten week-long courses, project participants will also be able to enhance and upgrade their entry-level knowledge in a number of subjects, including chemistry, mathematics, biology, economics, computer programming, history of culture, and others.

A number of courses in technology and the humanities from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) were available online on the inaugural day already, but only in fragmentary form. According to Dmitry Guzhelya, the project director, the new service is also putting together courses and lectures from professors and scientists working at other leading Russian universities and research institutes.

Universarium opened its ‘doors’ Monday for online students enrolled in courses in economics, chemistry and math. The participants started discovering the basics of the chemical compositions of matter, theoretical and applied combinatorics, and the ABCs of generating business ideas.

Coming soon are courses in theater history, image recognition systems and business strategies for crisis management, Mr. Guzhelya said.