Global Impact

Online technologies allow new ways for Duke faculty to educate individuals worldwide, fulfilling the university’s strategic goal of contributing knowledge in the service of society.

Watch students around the world share what it’s like to take Duke’s online courses.

global MOOC students

More than 2 million individuals from virtually every country in the world have signed up for an open‐access online course from Duke.

Duke MOOCs have seen significant enrollments from global priority areas:

World Map

  • India   – 152,000 students
  • Brazil – 76,000 students
  • China – 145,000 students
  • Africa – 68,000 students
  • Latin America – 166,000 students


Duke’s online education projects showcase the excellence of faculty, increase awareness of Duke programs and expand Duke’s global reach. Learners report using Duke MOOCs to prepare before coming to Duke and as a factor influencing their decision to apply to or enroll at Duke.


New partnerships at home and abroad created opportunities for individuals to learn from Duke and advance their knowledge and careers:

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Duke professor Pedro Lasch partnered with public art organization Creative Time to develop ART of the MOOC, an open online course that invites students around the globe to participate in socially-engaged collective art projects. The course also features presentations by cross-national artists, curators, critics, and activists.


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One of Duke Kunshan University’s inaugural courses, Fundamentals of Global Health, combined online and on-site activity at Duke’s Durham and DKU campuses to allow greater flexibility for the instructor while providing a rich educational experience for students.


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Most Duke Coursera courses are available in China via a China‐based mirror site and featured on the China Coursera Zone web portal. In 2015, Duke launched a new version of its Introductory Human Physiology MOOC translated completely into Chinese to better serve this rapidly growing learner community.


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The online course Tropical Parasitology: Protozoa, Worms, Vectors and Human Disease builds on Duke’s ongoing research and teaching site in Tanzania (at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre), models collaborative course development with an African institution, and resulted in materials being used in on‐campus classes at both institutions.