Top UK Universities Join The Free MOOC Band
While some top UK Universities are still wary of joining the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) band, others see this as an opportunity to be on the forefront of innovation. Thanks to the establishment of Futurelearn Ltd, an entirely new company launched by Open University (OU).
British Universities like the universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick have all signed up to join Futurelearn. Other British Universities like the University of London and Edinburgh University may soon join Coursera — another leading provider of MOOCs.
Futurelearn will be an independent company owned by OU. It will:
- Bring together a range of free, open, online courses from leading UK universities, that will be clear, simple to use and accessible;
- Draw on the OU’s expertise in delivering distance learning and pioneering open education resources to support a unified, coherent offer from all of its partners;
- Increase accessibility to higher education (HE) for students across the UK and in the rest of the world.
Futurelearn has been warmly welcomed by UK government. The Minister for Universities and Science responsible for higher education in England, David Willetts, said:
“The UK must be at the forefront of developments in education technology. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) present an opportunity for us to widen access to, and meet the global demand for higher education. This is growing rapidly in emerging economies like Brazil, India and China.”
“Futurelearn has the potential to put the UK at the heart of technology for learning agenda, by revolutionizing conventional models of formal education. New online delivery tools will also create incredible opportunities for UK entrepreneurs to reach world markets by harnessing technology and innovation in the field of education.”