OU pioneers first paid course on FutureLearn platform

Jan 13, 2019

The pilot will see the first qualification, a post graduate certificate in open and distance education starting this month.

The initiative aims to combine the OU’s expertise in Technology Enhanced Learning with FutureLearn’s market-leading delivery model. It will also allow the OU to evaluate the opportunities that come from using the FutureLearn platform, including capitalising on its global reach and the potential to reduce costs.

If successful, other OU courses could follow suit. Four further Post Graduate qualifications have been earmarked to follow the pilot, from October in: finance, advanced healthcare practice, development management and human resources.

The OU’s university secretary Jonathan Nicholls, who also chairs the FutureLearn board, said: “The OU has always been a home for innovation and inclusivity in education and this collaboration with FutureLearn gives us the opportunity to do that to an even greater degree. Wwe hope it will offer us new insight and allow us to continue to innovate and pioneer new forms of distance-learning education as we enter our 50th anniversary year.”

FutureLearn’s chief executive Simon Nelson added: It is an occasion which reminds us how far higher education has come since the OU’s founding in 1969 and how quickly it continues to change. Now as the leading online social learning platform in Europe, it is particularly exciting to be bringing the OU’s debut postgraduate qualification to FutureLearn on the subject of online and distance education.”

FutureLearn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the OU and is the leading social learning platform, formed in December 2012. It is now the largest online learning platform in Europe with over eight million people signed up worldwide. It delivers courses from over 150 leading universities and cultural institutions across the globe. 

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