The first free, open, online platform for courses from multiple UK universities has announced a partnership with the British Council, the international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
Futurelearn was founded by The Open University (OU) in December 2012 and now has 19 partners including the British Council. Today’s announcement comes as the OU participates in Going Global 2013, the British Council’s conference for leaders in international education, taking place in the Middle East.
Also taking part in the conference, the UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said:
'I am delighted that the British Council is now a partner of Futurelearn and that their collaboration is announced as we join leaders in education from across the world at Going Global 2013. UK Higher Education is a hugely important export and one of which we can be justly proud. Futurelearn is an excellent demonstration of the UK's commitment to extending the benefits of the UK's best institutions using technology coupled with first-class teaching and learning. The British Council will bring great strength and depth to Futurelearn by working with the company on matters including course development, assessment and examinations.'
The OU Vice Chancellor and Chair of Futurelearn, Martin Bean said:
'Like Futurelearn, the British Council is dedicated to sharing the best of British education with students from around the world. 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’s Chief Executive, Martin Davidson said:
'We’re very pleased to be announcing our collaboration with FutureLearn. The British Council has been bringing the UK’s education sector to people around the world for almost eighty years, so it’s very exciting that with Futurelearn we’re able to expand that to millions more people through the MOOC 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.'
Futurelearn Launch CEO, Simon Nelson said:
'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. They join 17 of the UK’s top universities and the British Library who are already working with us to deliver the best free open online courses available for students everywhere.'
The first Futurelearn courses will be delivered later in 2013.