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Penn's Gutmann in Tokyo to talk to Wharton alums

Penn President Amy Gutmann is in Tokyo to talk to Wharton alumni about Massive Open Online Courses.

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann will tout Penn's work in the world of Massive Open Online Courses in a speech on Friday in Tokyo to alumni of Wharton.

It's one of two Global Alumni forums being held by Wharton this year. The other will be in Paris in October. Her speech is titled: "Maximizing Returns: The Enduring Value and Bold Future of Higher Education."

"Online learning is a bold experiment in higher education," Gutmann said in a prepared statement. "MOOCs are increasing access to education and have the potential to touch underserved populations in new ways. The University of Pennsylvania is proud to be among those leading the way in this new venture."

Penn has been offering MOOCs for about a year and is in the forefront of a project with Coursera, a California-based online education company that has been a pioneer in MOOCs, and the American Council on Education to have some of the courses count for credit. While some colleges and institutions have turned away from MOOCs, Penn has embraced them.

The Tokyo forum is designed to give alumni the chance to hear about higher education issues and discuss ideas with Wharton faculty, industry leaders and alumni, the school said. Japan has one of Penn's largest alumni networks, with more than 2,000 alumni, many in Tokyo. More than 60 percent of Penn's international students are from Asia, and approximately 15,000 Penn alumni live in that region, Penn said.