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University of Minnesota's new, free online courses generate buzz

The University of Minnesota's recent decision to begin offering free online courses via development firm Coursera caused a nice amount of stir after the announcement. Local business and news publications highlighted the story, as well as popular technology blog TechCrunch.
A story in the Pioneer Press noted that the university is among a growing number of educational institutions that will be offering free online courses. These types of courses have attracted millions of students, the article states, and five U. of M. professors have already signed on to create the courses.
"This partnership will give people from around the world the opportunity to learn from the U's world-class faculty at a time when we are working harder than ever to increase access to higher education, reach broader audiences, and strengthen our land-grant mission," University Provost Karen Hanson told the Pioneer Press.
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