Vijay Kumar

After leaving CIE Vijay spent 5 years at the University of Maine at Machias where he taught classes, introduced technology into the curriculum, and helped launch Maine’s statewide interactive telecommunications system.  He then moved to Mount Holyoke College where he directed academic computing, including some programs for the five-college consortium.


In 1996 he took a position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, initially as Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, then as Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing. 


Since then Vijay has been providing leadership for sustainable technology-enabled educational innovation for the past 27 years at MIT, most recently as the Founding Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL), and Associate Dean for Open Learning. Vijay has been responsible for strategy development, launching and leading units engaged in the effective integration of information technology and media services to enable educational change.


Vijay was the Principal Investigator of the Open Knowledge Initiative, an MIT-led collaborative project to develop an open architecture for enterprise educational applications. He is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW). He has served as the Executive officer for MIT's Council on Educational Technology and as a member of the steering committee for I-Campus, the MIT-Microsoft Alliance initiative for educational technology.


His research as well as his advisory engagements are directed toward strategy, as well as planning and implementing technological innovations to advance educational equity and quality, globally. He describes his work in his own words.


We work with universities in Latin America, for example, to create new engineering programs, or in Latvia to transform their education system. We are working with the Riga Business School, the Riga University and the Riga Technical University to create an institutional incubator that launches health, hybrid and digital learning, or industry-focused PhD programs.


We must create a community between teachers and students who support each other. Open training is old, but it still has the same purpose: to provide quality education for lots of people who otherwise don’t have access. The goal of Open Learning is to democratize learning, to reach everyone, but if you see the profile of those who take the courses, they already had training. You don’t reach everyone. Those who sign up want to do more things, better things. That means you have to create “gateway courses” that provide access to training.


Vijay has authored numerous articles in the area of educational innovations and technology strategy, and is a co-editor of a Carnegie Foundation book "Opening Up Education" (MIT Press, August 2008). In 2013, he was awarded an honorary professorship by Tianjin Open University. He was also named the Exxon Mobil Chair for Technology Enabled Learning at the University of Qatar, 2014.


In a 2023 interview at the Open University of Catalonia, Vijay reflects on micro-credentials, the impact of artificial intelligence on learning and higher education, and educational innovation.




He now lives in Lexington, MA with his family. [1-24]




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