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Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will set up a joint venture with Waseda University in Tokyo on Monday that will offer online learning courses to both students and the general public, Matsushita said Wednesday.

The venture, tentatively called Waseda University International, will provide English courses and other programs using the Internet, a videoconferencing system, satellite broadcasting and Net-linked home appliances, the company said.

The English courses, to be based on the existing videoconferencing system at Waseda University, are expected to attract up to 5,000 enrollments in fiscal 2002, up from the 500 currently taking the courses via the existing system, it said.

Headed by Kunihiro Yasue, a director at Waseda, the firm will be capitalized at 80 million yen and owned 51 percent by the university, with Matsushita and its group companies holding the remainder, the consumer electronics maker said.

Other courses include training programs for English conversation tutors and employee courses based on Matsushita’s in-house programs on international business, it said.

The venture is expected to open classes nationwide via satellite broadcasting and run courses for students at home in the future through an envisaged network of home appliances, the company said.

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