December 10, 2021

edX Pledges $1M in Funding to Develop Courses Focused on Essential Human Skills for the Virtual Age

Ten university partners will be selected to develop courses on the edX platform in areas critical to today’s workforce

Cambridge, Mass., December 10, 2021 — edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), today announced a request for proposals (RFP) from its network of university partners to support the creation of new courses in Essential Human Skills for the Virtual Age. Ten edX partners will be selected to receive development funding as well as design, production, and marketing support to produce and deliver the courses on the edX platform. All winning courses will include a free audit track to ensure the broadest possible global access. 

The million-dollar pledge to partners reflects edX’s continued commitment to support free and open courses that increase access to high-quality education from the world’s top institutions for learners everywhe​​re. It’s one of a number of new initiatives that leverage the combined strengths of 2U and edX to enable partners to quickly advance educational opportunities to meet learners' needs, at scale.

"Essential human skills like leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence have become even more critical in an increasingly virtual world,” said edX Founder and 2U Chief Open Education Officer Anant Agarwal. “We are excited to support our amazing network of partners in creating a new series of accessible, high-quality courses that will help equip people with the skills they need to lead and thrive in today’s hybrid world.”

In addition to offering thousands of programs supporting technical skills development, edX partners are developing one of the world’s largest collections of courses on the critical soft skills necessary to thrive personally and professionally in the 21st century. Eighty percent of global companies surveyed in LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report said that soft skills are increasingly important to company success, and LinkedIn’s behavioral data found that the most in-demand soft skills were creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management. However, many of these skills are still not actively taught in higher education and rarely in the workplace. 

“Five years ago, we emphasized the technical skills we knew were necessary for the workforce at that time. Now, we see a world in which human skills like creativity and innovation, leadership, emotional and social intelligence are key differentiators,” said Lauren Holliday, Managing Director of Open Courses and Marketplace at 2U. “We also see a gap in the market to create access to affordable education to meet these needs. It’s a welcome challenge to teach these skills in a virtual world, and we believe that we have the team, the technology, and the tools to lead the way.”

Faculty and other members of edX partner universities are invited to submit proposals in a broad range of disciplines. Proposals should clearly articulate which human skills are being taught and why they are of critical importance for success not only today, but in the years to come. The target subject areas are in growing skill areas identified through a combination of edX.org search data and calculated from Emsi’s skill taxonomy database. 

Submission categories include:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Reasoning and Problem Solving
  • Leadership 
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Emotional and Social Intelligence
  • Mental Health and Resilience
  • Communication

Applications are now open for edX partners via the edX Partner Portal until March 1, 2022. Selected proposals will be announced in Spring 2022. 

To learn more about courses currently available in this area, please visit: https://www.edx.org/learn/soft-skills

About edX

edX is the education movement for restless learners and a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU). Together with the majority of the world’s top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies, we bring our community of over 40 million learners world-class education to support them at every stage of their lives and careers, from free courses to full degrees. And we're not stopping there — we're relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location. Learn more at edX.org

Contact

Email: press@edx.org

December 10, 2021

edX Pledges $1M in Funding to Develop Courses Focused on Essential Human Skills for the Virtual Age

Ten university partners will be selected to develop courses on the edX platform in areas critical to today’s workforce

Cambridge, Mass., December 10, 2021 — edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), today announced a request for proposals (RFP) from its network of university partners to support the creation of new courses in Essential Human Skills for the Virtual Age. Ten edX partners will be selected to receive development funding as well as design, production, and marketing support to produce and deliver the courses on the edX platform. All winning courses will include a free audit track to ensure the broadest possible global access. 

The million-dollar pledge to partners reflects edX’s continued commitment to support free and open courses that increase access to high-quality education from the world’s top institutions for learners everywhe​​re. It’s one of a number of new initiatives that leverage the combined strengths of 2U and edX to enable partners to quickly advance educational opportunities to meet learners' needs, at scale.

"Essential human skills like leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence have become even more critical in an increasingly virtual world,” said edX Founder and 2U Chief Open Education Officer Anant Agarwal. “We are excited to support our amazing network of partners in creating a new series of accessible, high-quality courses that will help equip people with the skills they need to lead and thrive in today’s hybrid world.”

In addition to offering thousands of programs supporting technical skills development, edX partners are developing one of the world’s largest collections of courses on the critical soft skills necessary to thrive personally and professionally in the 21st century. Eighty percent of global companies surveyed in LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report said that soft skills are increasingly important to company success, and LinkedIn’s behavioral data found that the most in-demand soft skills were creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management. However, many of these skills are still not actively taught in higher education and rarely in the workplace. 

“Five years ago, we emphasized the technical skills we knew were necessary for the workforce at that time. Now, we see a world in which human skills like creativity and innovation, leadership, emotional and social intelligence are key differentiators,” said Lauren Holliday, Managing Director of Open Courses and Marketplace at 2U. “We also see a gap in the market to create access to affordable education to meet these needs. It’s a welcome challenge to teach these skills in a virtual world, and we believe that we have the team, the technology, and the tools to lead the way.”

Faculty and other members of edX partner universities are invited to submit proposals in a broad range of disciplines. Proposals should clearly articulate which human skills are being taught and why they are of critical importance for success not only today, but in the years to come. The target subject areas are in growing skill areas identified through a combination of edX.org search data and calculated from Emsi’s skill taxonomy database. 

Submission categories include:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Reasoning and Problem Solving
  • Leadership 
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Emotional and Social Intelligence
  • Mental Health and Resilience
  • Communication

Applications are now open for edX partners via the edX Partner Portal until March 1, 2022. Selected proposals will be announced in Spring 2022. 

To learn more about courses currently available in this area, please visit: https://www.edx.org/learn/soft-skills

About edX

edX is the education movement for restless learners and a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU). Together with the majority of the world’s top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies, we bring our community of over 40 million learners world-class education to support them at every stage of their lives and careers, from free courses to full degrees. And we're not stopping there — we're relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location. Learn more at edX.org

Contact

Email: press@edx.org