The International Monetary Fund (IMF)and edX, the not-for-profit online learning initiative founded by Harvard University and MIT, announced a collaboration today to strengthen economic expertise worldwide.

The collaboration will extend the reach of the IMF’s training courses in macroeconomics and finance to governments and the public through the edX platform. Pilots of the first two online courses—Financial Programming and Policies and Debt Sustainability Analysis—will be rolled out to small groups of government officials in the coming months, with plans to open access to the general public during 2014.

“We are delighted to join with edX in this new initiative, which will allow us to respond to the demands for more training from our member countries,” said Sharmini Coorey, director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development. “The training we provide is aimed at increasing the capacity of officials to analyze and formulate sound macroeconomic and financial policies. We look forward to being able to offer online access to a broader audience through future massive open online courses. We hope that these short courses will be useful to students and teachers, the financial services industry, members of parliament and civil society, and many others, thus promoting greater understanding of economic policy issues.”

The collaboration marks the first time edX has been used as the educational platform of an international governmental organization.

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