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Daphne Koller, right, and Andrew Ng are the founders of online education provider Coursera. (RAMIN RAHIMIAN/NYT)
Daphne Koller, right, and Andrew Ng are the founders of online education provider Coursera. (RAMIN RAHIMIAN/NYT)

The Roundup

Online education can't stay free, STFX strike possible Add to ...

The best of the web on education from kindergarten to postsecondary, as chosen daily by Globe and Mail education editor Simona Chiose.

STFX headed for strike

Talks between the union representing faculty at St. Francis Xavier University and the institution have broken down, opening the possibility of a strike in two weeks. STFX has seen its operating grants from the provincial government decline by 3 per cent in 2012 and 2013 and is facing a 1 per cent increase for 2014 and 2015. The union had received an offer of almost 7 per cent over four years. Talks had been in conciliation before the Christmas break.

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Education won’t make media’s mistakes

2013 could be the year of sober questions about online learning, none more sober than the issue of how to make money. Coursera, the leading provider of massive open online courses, will charge small fees for providing certificates of completion and some universities are offering credit for courses taken online in exchange for a fee. Coursera’s founders preach the benefits of free education for all, but as one university rep tells the New York Times, postsecondary institutions ‘don’t want to make the mistake the newspaper industry did, of giving our product away free online for too long.’

School’s on till six

A primary school in eastern England says students have benefitted from a longer school day. Since September, the Great Yarmouth Primary Academy has been open until 6 p.m. with kids able to do homework or go to arts and sports classes. The extracurriculars were staffed by teaching assistants or coaches paid by the school.

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