Coursera and Z-kai Group form a business alliance for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) services
January 18, 2017
Zoshinkai Publishers Inc.
January 18, 2017 - Zoshinkai Publishers Inc. (Headquarters: Sunto-gun, Shizuoka, Japan; CEO Takaaki Fujii, below, “Zoshinkai”), the holding company of Z-kai Group, announces that the company has formed a business alliance with Coursera Inc. (Headquarters: US; CEO Richard Levin, below, “Coursera”).
The two companies will this spring launch the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) service in Japan via their co-branded Website and will cooperate in developing new personalized services to meet the needs of learners in Japan.
In recent years, rapid globalization and the growing use of information technology are making the problems faced by society more sophisticated and more complex. As society is charged with finding solutions to these problems, MOOCs - massive open online courses for anyone who wants to learn unrestricted by time or place – have become popular, starting in the United States and spreading all around the world. It is estimated that over 35 million people are learning with MOOCs. In the provision of educational opportunities, taking advantage of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has given rise to changes in the provision of educational opportunities and possibilities.
This trend is now beginning to spread in Japan, but at present not many companies have expanded their services beyond the confines of ‘Japan’. In this environment, the Z-kai Group, whose corporate philosophy is “excellence in education for future global leaders”, hopes to offer the opportunity for a wide range of world-standard learning experiences that reflect true globalization and the use of information technology in education. Zoshinkai has formed this alliance with Coursera with the aim of developing human resources who have the knowledge and ability to resolve the many different problems facing society and who will contribute to social innovation and growth.
Standing and strengths of the companies
Zoshinkai offers a wide range of educational services, including distance correspondence education services, a publishing business, testing, the marketing of mock test and educational materials for schools, and ICT-based teaching services through Z-kai Inc. (Headquarters: Sunto-gun, Shizuoka, Japan; CEO Takaaki Fujii). Zoshinkai also operate cram schools through its subsidiary, Z-kai Educe (Headquarters: Mishima-shi, Shizuoka, Japan; CEO Naohiro Takabatake) and Eikoh Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; CEO Hiroyuki Yamamoto), and offers educational services for university students and adults through Z-kai CA (Headquarters: Mishima-shi, Shizuoka, Japan; CEO Hiroyuki Suda).
Coursera (http://www.coursera.org) is an online education company that offers courses and learning experiences of the world’s top universities and educational institutions, including the University of Tokyo, Stanford University, and University of Pennsylvania, etc. Over 23 million registered learners come to Coursera to take more than 1,700 courses in dozens of topics, from business, to technology, to data science, to health and to creative arts.
Coursera empowers learners around the world to achieve their career, educational and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Laureate Education Inc., and Learn Capital.
Anticipated outcome of the alliance
The Z-kai Group offers diverse educational services aimed mainly at top academic achievers within Japan. In order to develop truly globally-minded leaders, the Group needs to provide students with frequent opportunities to experience world-standard educational services.
This alliance enables us to provide online courses that take advantage of Coursera’s world-class network of top universities and organizations, so that we are ready to promote the acquisition of the generic skills needed in the 21st century and to develop truly globally-minded human resources.
Nature of Business (projected)
- The establishment of a co-branded website and the provision of customized, localized courses for the Japanese market, including classroom instructions.
- The provision of online courses for business enterprises aimed at the acquisition of business skills and know-how. Students completing the course will receive a course certificate (an official Coursera credential) from Coursera.
- The provision of online courses for both public and private schools to create learning experiences that go beyond the national curriculum standards of Japan.
- Aimed mainly at high-school students and adults registered with the online academy Z-kai Asteria, the recommendation of online courses matched to the interests of the individual.
About Coursera Inc.
- Company name: Coursera Inc.
- Address: Mountain View, CA (USA)
- CEO: Richard Levin
- Established: May 2012
- Courses: 1,700 (145 universities)
- Registered learners: 23 million
◆Zoshinkai Publishers Inc.
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