New Open Online Education Startup Announced
Today the Open University (OU) announced the formation of a new Open Education company called Futurelearn. Futurelearn will offer free, online courses from UK universities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick.
Futurelearn will be independent but majority-owned by the 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 underpin 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.
As professor at the Open University I am excited about this new development. We are pushing hard to develop new innovative long-distance education programmes and so it's great to have a new education platform with global reach.
Also just last month the OU announced that we will be repackaging our course materials to work as apps – and presumably it’s that sort of technology expertise it will be bringing to the table at FutureLearn.
The official press release is here.