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European Commission collaborates with iversity to form web and app skills-focused MOOC network

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March 28
8:27 AM 2014

The European Commission has paired with Berlin-based iversity to form a network of providers for European Massive Open Online Courses that would pay particular attention to web and app skills. Universities, web entrepreneurs, online learners and MOOC providers are encouraged to join the network, TechCrunch reported.

The intention of the EC is to increase the regional digital skills level so that the domestic workforce will be equipped with the skill sets that companies will need in the future. The MOOC movement in Europe is not as advanced as the level reached in the US but there are already regional providers in the space, such as iversity in Berlin and the Futurelearn consortium in the UK which is backed by the Open University, the report said.

The Startup Europe initiative of the European Commission is geared towards giving technology startups in the area better conditions and the formation of the MOOC network is part of that. In the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan of the European Commission, the focus lies on providing education and training, establishing an environment that favors entrepreneurs and coming up with role models and reaching out to groups whose entrepreneurial talent remains underutilized. Using the MOOC network to improve web and app skills takes care of the education portion of those goals. Moreover, the Commission also said that the network intends to determine the demand for skills connected to the web in Europe and promote "capacity-building" in these areas through the MOOCs, the report said.

The report quoted European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes who said in a statement, "By 2020, 90% of jobs will need digital skills. That is just around the corner, and we aren't ready. Already businesses in Europe are facing a shortage of skilled ICT workers. We have to fill that gap, and this network we are launching will help us identify where the gaps are."

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