US-based internet university company Coursera nets the funds from venture firms, as it signs up top US universities like Princeton and Stanford offering courses for free.

Coursera, an internet university company set up by two Stanford University computer science professors [Stanford’s Hoover tower is pictured], raised $16m from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates last week.

Coursera said universities including Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, would be offering web-based classes on the Coursera platform for free.

John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins and Scott Sandell, general partner at New Enterprise Associates, have joined Coursera’s board.

Daphne Koller, one of the founding computer science professors, said: "We see a future where world-renowned universities serve millions instead of thousands, allowing many more people to live their dreams."

Andrew Ng, the other founder of Coursera, said: "Students learn best not by passively watching video, but by thinking, practicing and doing. Our education technology is developed around these concepts, and helps busy students quickly master material."


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