UJ boasts 30K online learners, ranks first in Africa; 33rd globally: Coursera

Staff and students at the University have been making the most of the COVID-19 lockdown period by enrolling and completing Coursera online courses. The University of Johannesburg (UJ) ranks on top with 30 843K online learners.

The Coursera analytics report elaborates on key trends identified between June through September 30, 2020.


Globally, UJ has been identified as a top performer for engagement during the pandemic. In terms of engagement, UJ outperformed South Africa and Africa entirely, and out of 10 000 institutions that participated in the initiative, globally, UJ ranks at position 33.

“The skills UJ staff and students are acquiring are in line with 4IR trends and will serve our community well in the future”, says Liana Meadon, Senior Manager: Academic Development Centre at UJ.

In a rapidly changing economic landscape, learners need new and accessible ways to develop future-ready skills. While Covid-19 disrupted education systems and jobs worldwide, the transition to online learning ensured people could learn skills to acquire job-relevant skills and rebuild their careers.

The Coursera report highlighted that institutions are acting boldly to support their learners and workers through an unprecedented unemployment crisis. Students need job-ready learning, employees need effective skills for remote working, and displaced workers need to regain employment.

“Similarly, we have seen more than 58 million course enrollments, a 472 per cent increase. Thousands of colleges and universities now offer Coursera to enrich their students’ learning experience, said Coursera Chief Executive Officer Jeff Maggioncalda.”

“The demand for online learning has accelerated with students globally demanding high-quality online learning options. Universities are ushering in a new era of digital transformation. We are delighted by these results of urgency and interest from UJ students,” he added.

The most famous course for the ‘Orange Army’ was Statistical programming, computer graphics and Data Visualization. The list also included some data science courses and algorithm courses. There was another interesting course called ‘mobile development’: Learn the process of mobile app creation.

Coursera has more than 70 million learners, including 4 million in Africa, and more than 15,000 courses from the world’s top universities and industry educators.

Related: 10,000 Coursera Licenses secured for UJ Staff and Students


“Coursera courses were challenging and insightful. Often we are not keen on doing things that are outside our norm because we fear getting out of our comform zone. I enrolled for courses in various fields such as Economics; Business, Virtual Reality and Digital Marketing, which are interrelated with my main discipline of Tourism. When I started I was afraid I might fail, however, I had to remind myself that everything I have successfully completed was once new. I am grateful for the opportunity granted by Prof. Jide and the team. The platform was necessary and I believe it helped to equip a lot of us with skills that will be useful in future.” -Thabile Dube, Master of Tourism and hospitality management (1st year).

“My experience with Coursera was absolutely phenomenal. It opened up an opportunity for me to broaden my skillset, particularly in the field of Machine Learning, Data Science and the mathematical principles that Computer Science is based upon. It is often said that learning never stops. Coursera has shown me how one can achieve this and I look forward to a lifetime of knowledge acquisition.” – Lloyd Mpumelelo Radebe, BCom Information Systems, 3rd year

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