British Museum and four more universities join the FutureLearn revolution

New partners join group that includes University of Leicester

Issued by FutureLearn on 2 May 2013

The first free, open, online platform for courses from multiple UK universities and other leading organisations has announced a further five partners today, including the British Museum, Loughborough University, University of Sheffield, University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde.

The new partners are joining FutureLearn, which was launched in December 2012 and includes several universities as well as the British Library and the British Council.  Each is committed to providing engaging and entertaining courses through the online site.

FutureLearn was founded in December 2012 and now has 24 partners including those announced today.

FutureLearn CEO, Simon Nelson, said:

We are delighted that more of the UK’s leading universities, along with one of its most popular cultural institutions, have agreed to work with FutureLearn and will join the growing ranks of institutions that will offer high quality, entertaining and enjoyable courses to people across the world. We are committed to removing the barriers to education by making learning more accessible, inspiring and useful to people, no matter what stage of life they are at. These partnerships will enable us to open up access to the best academics from world-class universities and cultural institutions and deliver new forms of social learning at large scale.”

Professor Frank Coton, Vice-Principal for Learning and Teaching at the University of Glasgow said:

“We are delighted to be joining the strong grouping of other leading UK universities that have already joined with FutureLearn.  Our partnership with FutureLearn will allow us to reach out to a whole new group of learners and underlines the commitment of this University to widening access to education.  The prospect of doing this through the innovative delivery platform that FutureLearn has developed is a very exciting one that we hope will inspire and engage those who choose to study with us.”

Professor Colin Grant, Associate Deputy Principal at the University of Strathclyde, said:

“As a leading international university with students from more than 120 countries, we have great pleasure in joining a programme which opens access to our learning to students around the world. Our Centre for Forensic Science is internationally renowned in its field and is an ideal starting point for our participation in FutureLearn.

“Teaching is one of the key pillars of Strathclyde’s strategy and FutureLearn also offers an ideal opportunity for us to explore innovation in learning. We look forward to a successful programme alongside our partners around the UK.”

Professor Morag Bell, Pro Vice Chancellor for Teaching at Loughborough University, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with FutureLearn. Loughborough has a well-established reputation for providing its students with a first-class education. Through these online courses, we will be able to make these outstanding learning opportunities available to even greater numbers of students.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield, Professor Paul White, said:

"The digital world is the future. Online education provides a means for the University of Sheffield to engage with learners from around the world and in circumstances we would otherwise never be able to reach out too. The courses are an important way for more people to access the high quality education that the University of Sheffield delivers."

Notes to editors:

FutureLearn will make it possible to learn for life, offering unique access to some of the most inspiring learning opportunities from the world’s greatest learning centres.

FutureLearn.com will offer free, accessible courses to people wherever they are in the world.  Courses will be created by the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, Glasgow, Leicester, Loughborough, Kings College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Nottingham, The Open University, Queen’s Belfast, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, St Andrews, Strathclyde and Warwick.  In addition, the British Museum, British Library and British Council have all signed MoUs to share content and their expertise and collaborate in the development of courses through FutureLearn.com.

For further details, please contact:

Andrew Szwajkowski, Edelman PR: andrew.szwajkowski@edelman.com / 020 3047 4040

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