The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) and FutureLearn–the largest online learning platform in Europe–announced today their partnership offering portable microcredentials to lifelong learners on a global scale. DCE is the first U.S. partner to announce their intention to offer microcredentials with the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) provider known for their high-quality, convenient short courses, in-depth programs, and online degrees.
The alliance recognizes the global demand for micro-learning opportunities from reputable universities, helping learners to enhance their skills, competencies and knowledge in order to grow or expand their career prospects. Through the partnership, DCE will offer several online courses focusing on technology including data analysis and instructional design.
“DCE’s global partnership with FutureLearn demonstrates our shared commitment to lifelong and micro-learning, and we are excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer our global community of learners,” said Brian Breen, Chief Corporate Engagement and Partnerships Officer, DCE.
“As an early adopter of the online and open education movement,” Breen continued, “UCI was the first west coast university in the U.S. to be involved in the movement along with MIT, and one of the first University of California campuses to offer MOOCs. This strategic partnership is the next step in expanding our reach on a global scale and furthering our vision as a provider and supporter of the 60-year curriculum.”
Micro-credentialing offers the flexibility and portability that is prized in today’s fast-paced, competitive marketplace. It empowers learners to drive their own professional learning throughout their entire career journey.
Simon Nelson, CEO, at FutureLearn commented, “We’re delighted to welcome The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) to our growing family of US partners and the first US partner to offer microcredentials on our platform. It’s no secret that the world of work is changing and the need to upskill and reskill is well-documented and DCE has developed impressive relationships with employers to understand their needs and skills gaps. Taking time out to study for traditional qualifications, especially in physical spaces, is not always possible and doesn’t always lend itself well to the continuous learning required for today’s workforce. Short stackable online experiences such as microcredentials help employees and employers to gain critical workplace skills.”
Simon continued, “We’re thrilled to be expanding our US presence and to be collaborating with a partner who understands this gap and shares our ambition to create solutions fit for today. Holly Shiflett, Director, North America at FutureLearn, is our first full-time hire in the US and we look forward to providing local support for our US partners and building on our existing North American partnerships. It’s an exciting time for FutureLearn in the US, and globally.”
To learn more about the UCI-FutureLearn partnership, visit https://www.futurelearn.com/partners/irvine.
About UCI Division of Continuing Education
The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) provides lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of students worldwide each year – fulfilling the school’s 60-year curriculum platform to connect degree programs to the world of work and achievement after graduation. The Division offers a broad range of certificate programs, specialized studies, and sequential courses to local, regional and global markets through online, on-campus and on-site delivery. A leader in the open education movement, the Division offers free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and content through the UCI Open initiative. For more information about UCI Division of Continuing Education, visit ce.uci.edu.
About the University of California, Irvine
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit uci.edu.
FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. FutureLearn has over nine million people signed up worldwide. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE). It’s also involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.