Compiled by DAVID MYTON

MOOC provider edX has announced a new degree path that lets students count credits earned in a set of short courses from one university toward a full degree with another. Students who want to apply to the new supply chain management master’s degree from Arizona State University on edX must first pass a 12-credit, six-course MicroMasters program from MIT, also offered through edX. The offering is something of a next step in online education providers’ work to develop courses and programs that can be rolled into full degrees and certificates. EdX is positioning its MicroMasters as a funnel into its full master’s programs, and a way to make sure students are cut out for them. It also serves as a non-degree option for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to change or move up in their job. “This allows learners to start engaging with master’s-level curriculum right away in order to determine if both the online learning experience and the subject matter are a fit, before the master’s application deadline,” Melanie Andrich, senior director of degree programs at edX, told Education Dive. – Hallie Busta, Education Dive. Read more

Alice Oswald has won the race to be Oxford’s latest professor of poetry. She will be the first woman to serve in the position, established more than 300 years ago. Oswald said that after a “distinctly unsettling process” she was “very pleased, daunted, grateful to my nominators”. “I look forward to thinking about all forms of poetry,” she said, “but particularly the fugitive airborne forms.” Celebrated for their exploration of nature and myth, Oswald’s nine books of poetry have already brought her prizes including the TS Eliot, Griffin and Costa poetry awards. The former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has hailed her as “the best UK poet now writing, bar none”, while Jeanette Winterson has called her Ted Hughes’s “rightful heir”. Born in 1966, she studied classics at Oxford, working as a gardener alongside her burgeoning career as a poet. Her debut, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, won the Forward first collection prize in 1996.  – Richard Lea, The Guardian. Read more

The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) is opening competence centres at Kazakhstan’s major universities to improve investment literacy. The initiative also intends to help develop the key competencies and practical skills of new experts in finance, investment and other industries. Users of the eight centres already established get access to the software of the Eikon terminal, the largest macroeconomic database, the analytical information and real-time data exchange operations of which are used by the professional financial and technical community around the world.  By the end of the year, nine more competence centres will be launched at other partner universities. The goal is to bring local competencies up to international standards. The centres will foster training, professional development and knowledge exchange in the hope of drawing more young people to finance. – Yerbolat Uatkhanov, The Astana Times. Read more 

Microsoft is launching new artificial intelligence (AI) laboratories at a number of universities in India to skill nearly 150,000 students in the fast-growing sector, which is seeing a shortage of talent.  The United States technology giant said the collaboration with 10 institutions over three years will improve facilities and teaching, and provide relevant options for students to gain the skills needed to fill the wide skills gap emerging across India and the global economy. According to a recent Microsoft and IDC Asia-Pacific study titled Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s growth potential through AI, lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programs emerged as the top challenges faced by Indian organisations in adopting AI to accelerate their businesses. Microsoft will design the curriculum and give students access to its cloud and AI services. It will also train faculty in in emerging technologies. – Shuriah Niazi, University World News. Read more

Malaysia’s international education industry has a powerful new spokesperson in prime minister Mahathir Mohamad after he starred in a new video encouraging overseas students to consider the country’s education offerings. The video, created by Education Malaysia Global Services, sees the prime minister touting the benefits of a Malaysian education for prospective students, highlighting the country’s high-quality education and its benefits to future careers. “Education is one of the most important aspects in our life. It is crucial for the development of nations, their people, their economies and their societies,” he said. “I would like to encourage all the young people out there currently considering their path in education, to come and study in Malaysia.” – Anton Crace, The PIE News. Read more


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