FutureLearn has launched in the UK today (18th September). The platform is partnering with over 20 universities to offer free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to students.
FutureLearn, owned by the Open University, aims to offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities for anyone in the world to study.
Universities which have signed up to FutureLearn to offer MOOCs include Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Kings College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and many more.
Trinity College in Dublin and Monash University in Australia are also offering courses in subjects such as computer programming, linguistics and studio production. The University of Exeter is offering a course called ‘Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions’ and the University of Sheffield is offering a course called ‘Discover Dentistry’.
Students will be able to follow courses on mobile phones as well as computers.
Universities minister David Willets said it could “revolutionise conventional models of formal education". He said: "I encourage all our institutions to explore the opportunities offered by new modes of technology, such as MOOCs. This will keep the UK ahead in the global race to deliver education in worldwide markets.”
Academic publishing consultant Graham Taylor has previously said he had detected “intense interest” around MOOCs. He said: “Publishers might want to be part of a programme and have their brand in there, so long as it is not cannibalising sales—which I don’t think it would, because the people who sign up for online MOOCs are different to those on the campus.”