Three million enrolments for online courses at TU Delft

News - 26 October 2020 - Communication

TU Delft has recorded the three-millionth enrolment for its online courses on the edX platform (MOOCs on The MOOCs give people around the world access to TU Delft’s teaching. Enrolment reached a peak around the middle of March, the start of the first lockdown in many countries. The number of enrolments for the MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) tripled in this period from around 6,000 to some 20,000 per week. These numbers returned to their usual values by the summer. Over 70 percent of the paying participants completed the course; TU Delft has issued more than 60,000 certificates.

Extensive offering
Solar Energy was TU Delft’s first MOOC, launched in September 2013 and repeated many times since then. Of all the MOOCs, it has attracted the most enrolments since its launch – more than 230,000 in all. The offering has in the meantime been expanded to more than 120 MOOCs, on subjects varying from health to the energy transition and from quantum computing to sustainable cities and the circular economy. In recent years, TU Delft’s online offering has also been broadened and now also includes MicroMasters (a series of related MOOCs) and Professional Certificate Programmes. The latter help people working in a specific area to stay abreast of developments in their field. The experience with online education has helped TU Delft enormously in the forced switch to distance learning during the COVID crisis.

AI in Practice
A new addition to the courses offered is the Professional Certificate Programme ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Practice’. The course is open to anyone who wishes to learn how to apply AI in an organisation, regardless of their prior education. It does not have a mathematical or programming focus, but illustrates the advantages and implications of the use of AI in daily processes. 

Case studies that are considered during the MOOCs include those of companies such as ING, Ahold Delhaize, Elsevier, KPN and Thirona. This course consists of two free MOOCs. Those who want a certificate for individual MOOCs, or for the whole program, pay a fee.

People from all corners of the globe follow these MOOCs; for some the driver is curiosity and for others it is to gain an edge career-wise. Take Mohammed El Makkaoui from Lebanon. He followed the MicroMaster in Solar Energy Engineering, which consists of a series of five MOOCs as well as a proctored online examination. He was granted exemptions for these courses when he started the Master’s degree programme in Electrical Engineering at TU Delft, and recently graduated as the first engineer from Delft to have done part of his degree programme in the form of MOOCs.

More information
Online courses offered at TU Delft:
The Professional Certificate programme ‘AI in Practice’: