A “virtual exchange” will allow UQ students to gain program credits from other universities through select online courses.
A “virtual exchange” will allow UQ students to gain program credits from other universities through select online courses.
14 December 2017

The University of Queensland is one of nine high-ranking universities to launch a “virtual exchange” that will allow students to gain program credits through select online courses.

From 2018, credits from select online courses from partner universities will count towards UQ students’ bachelor or master’s degrees, and UQ course credits will count at partner universities.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said the international Virtual Exchange agreement was a bold move to innovate in the digital education space, where UQ had long been a key player.

“At UQ, we are focused on enriching the student experience, whether online or on-campus, and that means supporting our students to have meaningful learning experiences and develop their cross-cultural skills,” Professor Wright said.

“This virtual exchange will expand overseas study options for students, who might otherwise not be able to pursue such opportunities.”

Similar to a regular university exchange, students can obtain credits from a partner university that count towards their ‘home’ education. The difference is that in this ‘virtual’ exchange, the students don’t need to travel as they study online and take the relevant exams at their own university.

Courses include building with nature, data analysis, fundamentals of biomedical imaging, solar energy and topology in condensed matter. Each course has been weighted and tested to ensure our high educational standards are maintained across universities.

Signatories of the agreement are: the Delft University of Technology, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Wageningen University and Research, Rice University, The University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Leiden University.

The agreement was announced at the edX Global Forum in Canada.

Representatives from the partnership universities meet to sign a "virtual exchange" agreement.

UQ has been teaching in the digital space for many years, offering 38 free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) via edX, and 3 Create Change Masterclasses on campus.

“Almost two million people have gained knowledge online through UQ’s MOOCs, and the global appetite for quality online learning continues to grow,” Professor Wright said.

In 2014, UQ released its’ first MOOC The Science of Everyday Thinking, and has since covered topics including hypersonics, critical thinking, climate science, anthropology, healthcare for people with an intellectual disability, as well as a popular English grammar and style course which alone has attracted more than 525,000 enrolments.

Media: Catherine Bennett, +61 7 3346 0850, c.bennett1@uq.edu.au or UQ Communications: +7 3346 0561, communications@uq.edu.a