BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Peking University on Tuesday launched a series of programming courses on Coursera, the world's largest provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
The six-course series called the "Fundamentals of Programming and Algorithms Specialization" is the first package of vocational courses on Coursera developed by a university on Chinese mainland, the U.S.-based company said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
Chinese Internet giant Tencent has partnered with the university to create a final project for learners to demonstrate their proficiency and will offer prizes and internships to top performers, the statement said.
Li Xiaoming, head of MOOC initiatives at Peking University, said the course, designed for beginners of all backgrounds, caters to demand for programming skills in the Chinese job market.
The Chinese government issued an "Internet Plus" action plan on July 4 to integrate the Internet with a number of industries. Li said the call will inspire Chinese youth to learn programming and prepare for successful start-ups.
The course also suggests an increasing focus on job training by MOOC providers like Coursera, which have prided themselves on making academic resources available to global learners.
In April, Coursera partnered with popular science website Guokr.com to invite companies to design projects for Chinese MOOC learners to build MOOCs into a new job recruitment channel.
"Over half of the one million Coursera learners in China come to us seeking career skills," Coursera CEO Rick Levin told Xinhua in an email interview, adding that demand for job-related MOOCs is a global phenomenon.
"Open online courses offer a new way to earn certificates from top universities on your own time and at your own pace," he said.
Coursera will continue to work with university and industry partners in China to develop courses in career-related topics like business, software engineering, and data science, Levin said.