Professor Anant Agarwhal

Founder, edX; Chief Platform Officer, 2U


Education technology; Lifelong education; Reskilling and upskilling; Stackable, modular learning



Changing the world with online learning

Anant’s starting point is that “everybody in the world should have access to education, no matter who they are, where they live or what they can afford.” For him, the right education is still available to too few people—either due to lack of quality, or lack of access.


edX is a global online learning platform developed in 2012 by Harvard and MIT to make the world’s best education available to everyone. Today, as a part of 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), edX reaches over 78 million people to support progress in their careers through online learning. Through edX, people can now earn a credential or degree online, anywhere, anytime, at a low cost.


As a Yidan Prize laureate, Anant used the prize funds to develop edX-powered MicroBachelors® programs. These are credit-backed, open-admission credential programs designed for adult learners without a traditional four-year degree. Leading companies and non-profit universities worldwide offer these rigorous, career-focused programs in partnership with edX. They are designed for anyone looking to gain industry-relevant skills in high-demand and emerging industries. For learners who want to pace their studies, MicroBachelors® program certificates come with transferable college credit from one of edX's university credit partners. Those who complete a MicroBachelors® program can immediately use it as a standalone credential on resumes and LinkedIn pages and eventually apply the academic credit toward a full degree with the school of their choice.


And students aren’t the only ones to benefit. In learning to teach online, teachers are also adopting new lessons from the science of learning. They’re beginning to think of education as an engineering product to continually iterate and improve. They’re making a huge effort to learn how to teach online, understanding how active learning works, and applying the latest research to teaching.

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