From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Type of site
Online education
Available inEnglish, German and Russian
Created byJonas Liepmann and Hannes Klöpper
Users600.000+ (February 2015)
LaunchedOctober 2013; 10 years ago (2013-10)
Current statusActive

Iversity (stylised as "iversity") is a Berlin-based online education platform. Since October 2013, iversity has specialised in providing online courses and lectures in higher education, specifically MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).[1][2][3] Courses are free and open for anyone to enroll and participate.[4] Many of them are conducted in English or German, but also in other languages.[5] iversity cooperates with individual professors as well as different European universities.[6][7][8][9][10] Some of the courses were winners of the MOOC Production Fellowship held in early 2013.[11][12][13] iversity.org officially launched the MOOC platform online in October 2013[8][14][15] and as of February 2015 has a user base of 600,000 online learners, enrolled in 63 courses offered by 41 partner universities. iversity is the only MOOC platform offering courses with ECTS-integration.[16][17] iversity has branch offices in Bernau bei Berlin, Germany and Berlin.


  • Initial idea and development of a beta-version of the platform in 2008 by founder Jonas Liepmann.[18]
  • This startup is said to have begun in 2011 and offered online collaboration tools for learning management with Hannes Klöpper as the co-founder and the second managing director.[19]
  • in 2012 iversity decided to become a European-based MOOC platform[20]
  • Spring 2013 – iversity and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft launched “The MOOC Production Fellowship” as a competition for online course concepts. A jury chose 10 of the best MOOC concepts out of more than 250 entries. The winners were each awarded €25,000 for the production of their courses.[21][22][23]
  • In October 2013 iversity relaunched as a platform for online courses, initially with 10 courses and 115,000 registered users.[24][25][26]
  • In January 2014 online learners were able to take the first paid final, on-site exams, through which iversity earned its first revenues.
  • In October 2014, exactly one year after the relaunch, iversity's total funding reached over €5 million.[27][28]
  • In August 2016, iversity secured a new investment from Holtzbrinck Digital,[29][19] after filing for insolvency in July 2016.[30]


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) harness visual elements (lecture videos, animations, graphics), interactive elements (simulations) and written materials (scientific articles).[31][32][33][34] All elements can be reviewed at any time. Instructors and course participants can interact with each other in discussion forums.[35] Instructors can use quizzes to get feedback on the learning progress of the course participants.[36] Most iversity courses end with a final assessment or exam. Exams can be taken on-site, online as “proctored-exam” or in form of a final project that has to be handed in to the instructor.

Students at iversity.org can choose between different study paths, resulting in different certificates. “Statement of Participation” is free-of-charge, other certificates come with varying costs – depending on which level of certification the student chooses.[37][38] Universities that offer a course at iversity have the option of offering European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits. This track allows students to receive credits from their courses and apply them to their university studies. ECTS Credits can be used at any European Higher Education Institution. A certificate that awards ECTS credits is issued once the participant has passed an on-site or online proctored exam.[39][40] Enrolment to courses is free, costs only apply when purchasing certificates.

For the production of courses, iversity collaborates with European universities and individual professors. Lecturers design their MOOCs with technical support from iversity. iversity cooperates with institutions such as

Business Model[edit]

iversity earns revenue through the sale of certificates, which online learners receive after completing courses on iversity.org thereby catering to all types of learners, among them working professionals who need to document their learning achievements and university students.[32] Some courses at iversity can be integrated into the student's diploma through the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). iversity has raised more than €5 million in venture capital. The investors are T-Venture, BMP media investors, BFB Frühphasenfonds, Masoud Kamali, Westtech Ventures, CRALS, Peter Zühlsdorf and Kontor B45. The iversity advisory board consists of Dr. Jörg Dräger and Prof. Édouard Husson.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lomas, Natasha in Tech Crunch Online: Berlin-Based iversity Relaunches As MOOCs Platform, Sets Its Sights On Becoming The Coursera Of Europe, 11 March 2013.
  2. ^ Schmidt, Marion in Die Zeit: Digitale Vorlesungshäppchen revolutionieren die Bildung, 6 June 2013.
  3. ^ Stüber, Jürgen in Berliner Morgenpost: Moocs – das neue Bildungsfernsehen aus der Uni 11 March 2013
  4. ^ Arte: “iversity – die wirklich globale Universität”[permanent dead link], 27 May 2014.
  5. ^ Fowler, Nina in Venture Village: “Europe’s MOOC experiment accelerates in Berlin” Archived 2015-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, 15 October 2013.
  6. ^ Blando, Stefano in Cronata Diretta: “E-learnig: L’università italiana in prima linea con i MOOC”, 22 January 2015.
  7. ^ Mulki, Muhammad Adil in Tribune Pakistan: “Online Courses: Ready to be MOOCed? Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, 20 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b Lomas, Natasha in Tech Crunch: “Europe’s iversity Launches 1st MOOCs With 100k+ Students & Curriculum Of 24 Courses”, 14 October 2013.
  9. ^ Fachhochschule Köln: “UN und globales Hochschulnetzwerk bieten Online-Kurs zu Umweltkatastrophen und Klimawandel an” Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, 1 December 2014.
  10. ^ Haberger, Denise/ von Kieter, Ann-Christin in UNICUM: “MOOC: Online-Kurse für die Uni von Zuhause”[permanent dead link], 3 February 2014.
  11. ^ Schuetze, Christopher in New York Times: “European Universities Catch the Online Wave”, 22 September 2013.
  12. ^ Lupke-Narberhaus, Frauke in Der Spiegel Online: “Videos im Wettbewerb: Wo ist der beste Mooc?”, 22 June 2013.
  13. ^ ZDF heute-Nachrichten: “Das Web wird zum Hörsaal”[permanent dead link], 24 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Berlin-Based iversity Relaunches As MOOCs Platform, Sets Its Sights On Becoming The Coursera Of Europe – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  15. ^ Winkler, Kirsten in: Edcetera: “Lessons from the iversity Launch”[permanent dead link], 16 October 2013.
  16. ^ Kastner, Daniel in Spiegel Online: “Online-Seminare an Unis: Tablets raus, Massenarbeit!”, 5 November 2014.
  17. ^ Pfeiffer, Lola in Webmagazin: “Der Januar-Lehrplan von iversity ist da”[permanent dead link], 4 December 2014.
  18. ^ Grossman, Sara in The Chronicle of Higher Education: “American MOOC Providers Face International Competition”, 5 July 2013.
  19. ^ a b Lomas, Natasha. "Online learning platform iversity gets a lifeline from Holtzbrinck media group". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  20. ^ Wired Academic: "5 Questions With An EdTech Startup: Hannes Klöpper of Berlin-based MOOC provider ‘iversity" Archived 2016-04-22 at the Wayback Machine, 4 July 2013.
  21. ^ Fowler, Nina in Venture Village: “Online education platform iversity raises funding from T-Venture and new CEO” Archived 2015-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, 16 January 2013.
  22. ^ iversity: “Press Release: iversity creates Advisory Board”[permanent dead link], 18 December 2013.
  23. ^ Weigert, Martin in Netzwertig: “Zwei Jahre später - heiße Startups aus Berlin und was aus ihnen geworden ist”, 29 January 2014.
  24. ^ Fowler, Nina in Venture Village: "Professors, want to teach online? Berlin’s Iversity offers ten €25,000 MOOC fellowships" Archived 2015-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, 11 March 2013.
  25. ^ Blumenstyk, Goldie in The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Company Offers Cash Prizes to Lure Professors to Teach MOOCs", 25 April 2013.
  26. ^ Winkler, Kirsten in Edukwest: "MOOC Production Fellowship announces Winners", 10 June 2013.
  27. ^ Lomas, Natasha in Tech Crunch: “European Online Education Startup, iversity, Gets ~500k Course Sign-Ups In First 4-Months”, 19 February 2014.
  28. ^ Alexander, Kay in Edukwest: “iversity Nears 500.000 Enrollments”[permanent dead link], 20 February 2014. Archived 2014-02-20 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Holtzbrinck Digital investiert in strauchelndes Iversity". Gründerszene Magazin (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  30. ^ "Iversity hat Insolvenz angemeldet – und will klein weitermachen". Gründerszene Magazin (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  31. ^ Shirky, Clay in The Chronicle of Higher Education: "MOOCs and Economic Reality", 8 July 2013.
  32. ^ a b Bohle, Shannon in SciLogs: “Librarians and the Era of the MOOC”, 11 Mai 2013.
  33. ^ Price, Matthew in The Oklahoman: "First massive open online course at University of Oklahoma to feature graphic novel", 1 March 2013.
  34. ^ Young, Jeffrey R. in The Chronicle of Higher Education: "The Object Formerly Known as the Textbook", 27 January 2013.
  35. ^ iversity: “User Interaction: What learning at iversity looks like”, 13 October 2013. Archived 2013-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ iversity: "What learning at iversity looks like: Breaking down the 90 minute lecture", 26 September 2013. Archived 2013-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Kraft-Linder, Annalisa in Daily Finance: “MOOCs: What’s A Great College Class Worth When It’s Free?”, 16 April 2014.
  38. ^ Winkler, Kirsten in Edcetera: “Verified Certificates – MOOC’s Money Maker or Anachronism?”, 24 April 2014. Archived 2015-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Strobel, Marisa in M-Magazin: “Virtuell lernen mit MOOCs”[permanent dead link], 5 April 2014.
  40. ^ iversity: “Online Education Platform iversity.org On The Road To Success”[permanent dead link], 19 February 2014.

External links[edit]