Type of site
|Owner||The Open University|
FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform founded in December 2012 as a company wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. It is the first UK-led massive open online course learning platform, and as of March 2015 included 54 UK and international University partners and—-unlike similar platforms—-includes four non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and the National Film and Television School.
FutureLearn was launched with 12 university partners, seeking those who "consistently rank at the top end of the…league tables". The launch was described as a move to 'fight back' and provide a space for UK institutions to engage in the MOOC space. FutureLearn's CEO, Simon Nelson, previously worked at the BBC.
Prior to the launch of FutureLearn few British universities had run online courses. Two (the University of Edinburgh and the University of London) had previously signed up to offer such courses through Coursera, while The Open University had been publishing a variety of online courses through its OpenLearn platform since 2006, although these were designed for self-directed study rather than cohort learning.
The following UK universities are partnered with FutureLearn:
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Bath
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- Cardiff University
- University of East Anglia
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Exeter
- University of Glasgow
- Lancaster University
- University of Leeds
- University of Leicester
- University of Liverpool
- King's College London
- Lancaster University
- London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- Loughborough University
- Newcastle University
- University of Nottingham
- The Open University
- University of Reading
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Warwick
Non-UK university partners include:
- University of Auckland, New Zealand
- University of Basel, Switzerland
- University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Fudan University, China
- University of Groningen, Netherlands
- Monash University, Australia
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
- Trinity College, Republic of Ireland
- University of Oslo, Norway
- Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
- Yonsei University, South Korea
In addition, the National Film and Television School will offer courses in the future and some non-university partners will make content available via FutureLearn: the British Museum, the British Council and the British Library.
FutureLearn's courses span a broad range of topics. The first course opened on 14 October 2013. The first courses to be made available included "Web science: how the web is changing the world", "Introduction to ecosystems", "Improving your image: dental photography in practice", "Causes of war", "The discovery of the Higgs boson", "Discover dentistry", "Muslims in Britain: changes and challenges", "Begin programming: build your first mobile game" and "England in the time of King Richard III". The first course to launch was "The secret power of brands", conducted by professor Robert Jones of the University of East Anglia.
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