Coursera, one of a crop of free, online universities that has popped up recently, will announce today that it has signed up 12 research universities to join its venture. If you’re a fan of round, sticky bread with a hole in the middle, think of this announcement like a dozen free donuts and it's that much sweeter.

The New York Times runs down the list of additions:

Now, the partners will include the California Institute of Technology; Duke University; the Georgia Institute of Technology; Johns Hopkins University; Rice University; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Washington; and the University of Virginia, where the debate over online education was cited in last’s month’s ousting — quickly overturned — of its president, Teresa A. Sullivan. Foreign partners include the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the University of Toronto and EPF Lausanne, a technical university in Switzerland.

In other words: rainbow sprinkles, glazed, cruller, jelly-filled, chocolate, powdered, apple fritter, maple, maple log, chocolate sprinkles, haggis, and cheese.

Coursera is set to offer 100 massive open online courses (MOOCs) starting this fall, which should attract millions of people from all over the world. Generally schools offer some sort of certificate of completion for going through the MOOC, the value of which hasn’t really been clear. But the University of Washington says it will offer real, honest-to-goodness credit for its MOOC.