FutureLearn announces international expansion

17 Jun 2013

FutureLearn today announces its first international partnerships with Australia’s Monash University and Ireland’s Trinity College Dublin. The University of Edinburgh also joins the list of top-ranking universities set to offer free, open online courses through FutureLearn.com.  FutureLearn’s first courses will come online later this year.

FutureLearn, which was founded by The Open University (OU), was originally launched in December 2012 and now boasts 26 partnerships – including the three revealed today – with universities and cultural institutions which bring centuries of rich experience in education.  Today’s announcement reinforces FutureLearn’s aim to offer high quality courses and enjoyable learning experiences, around the world for free. People will be able to learn throughout their lives with some of the world’s best universities, most inspirational teachers and other learners, fitting learning around their lives, rather than their lives around learning.

FutureLearn CEO, Simon Nelson, said:

“Today FutureLearn is adding to its amazing roll-call of partners, announcing partnerships with the University of Edinburgh and its first two international collaborators: Australia’s largest university, Monash, and the Republic of Ireland’s highest ranked university, Trinity College Dublin. These three new partners will join top UK institutions to offer high quality courses through FutureLearn. Students world-wide will have access to courses developed by a team that combines the OU’s 40 years’ expertise in distance learning with the skills of those that have created some of the UK’s most enjoyable online consumer experiences.”

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the opportunity to expand the University’s course offerings and to provide educational opportunities beyond the campus was an exciting expansion of the suite of offerings currently provided by Monash.

“We pride ourselves on being a global educator and we are ranked in the world’s top 100 Universities. Our partnership with FutureLearn enhances our endeavours and opens new doors for prospective students seeking an internationally recognised education,” Professor Cornish said.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh Principal and Vice Chancellor, said:

“The University of Edinburgh is delighted to be joining FutureLearn, and we look forward to extending our range of open courses on its innovative platform.  The new online features that FutureLearn offers to support learners and teachers will provide us with an opportunity to explore new ways to widen access to high quality university education.”

Dr Patrick Prendergast, Trinity’s Provost, said:

“Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s leading university welcomes this exciting collaboration that will provide access to Trinity’s quality education to students worldwide.  Both innovative and transformational in its potential, FutureLearn will increase the global reach of our courses renowned for their excellence and research-led teaching.  It will widen participation and provide educational opportunities to prospective students and new audiences. As the first Irish university to join the collaboration we feel especially privileged and look forward to further delivering excellence in education across the globe.”