Futurelearn teams up with British Council to offer free online courses

Open University company Futurelearn has joined forces with the British Council to expand its global reach.

Education platform Futurelearn has teamed up with the British Council to deliver free, online courses to students worldwide.

Founded by the Open University (OU) last year, Futurelearn now has 19 partners.  

The announcement comes as the OU takes part in the Going Global 2013 conference. The event is held by the British Council, in the Middle East and is aimed at leaders in international education.

Futurelearn Launch CEO, Simon Nelson said the British Council joins 17 of the UK’s top universities and the British Library in delivering free open online course to students all over the world.

“Our vision for Futurelearn is to deliver learning experiences for people across the world that delight and inspire them. With its long track record of creating educational opportunities for people on a global scale, the British Council is a tremendous addition to the Futurelearn family,” he said.

The OU vice-chancellor and chair of Futurelearn, Martin Bean said: “The British Council’s experience and expertise add great value to Futurelearn, and I look forward to working with them to deliver high-quality online courses for all.”

The British Council chief executive, Martin Davidson is excited about the collaboration as it will enable both companies to expand to millions more people through the platform: “We hope that our recognised experience in English language learning and delivering assessments and examinations in nearly a hundred countries will contribute to making FutureLearn even more attractive for ambitious learners around the world”

Also at the British Council’s conference was, David Willetts the Minister for Universities and Science, who said the partnership will allow the UK to be at the forefront of education technology: “This will allow the UK to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by technology to widen access to higher education and meet the global demand for UK courses."

The first Futurelearn courses will start later this year.


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