From education to employment

FutureLearn sold to Global University Systems to enhance career opportunities for millions of learners

Jo Johnson

Jo Johnson appointed Chairman of FutureLearn board

FutureLearn, the digital learning platform, today announced a strategic partnership with Global University Systems (GUS), a leading global higher education platform with institutions in the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Canada, India and Singapore.

GUS will provide FutureLearn with access to its proprietary AI-powered career management solution, therefore widening FutureLearn’s offering to provide fully-fledged career advancement, linking learners with content, accreditation, mentorship and career opportunities.

This will set FutureLearn’s offering apart from competitors, giving learners a full picture of options to advance their careers, the skills they will need, and the courses which will help them to achieve their goals.

The partnership with GUS will also help FutureLearn increase its support for the United Nations Development Programme’s ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, which include:

  • ensuring equal access to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including that provided by universities, and 
  • substantially increasing the number of young people and adults who gain skills relevant to employment and entrepreneurship

FutureLearn will expand its existing offering, already benefiting millions of learners in its home market of the United Kingdom and across the globe, to include the needs of developing countries. This will help learners from Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean to benefit from access to thousands of courses, helping them build career-relevant skills and gain internationally recognised certification. 

GUS Founder and CEO, Aaron Etingen, said:

“We are delighted to play a role in FutureLearn’s incredible success story. In just under 10 years, FutureLearn has become the largest and most impactful online learning platform in Europe educating some 19 million people to date. Over the last 20 years GUS has developed proprietary, AI-powered career management capabilities which can strengthen the FutureLearn platform and unlock access to global markets. I am pleased to introduce Jo Johnson as a chair of the Board of Directors. We are also forming an Advisory Board, chaired by Lord David Blunkett and Douglas Blackstock with further appointments to follow shortly.”

Incoming Chairman of FutureLearn, Jo Johnson, added:

“No company has greater potential to bring world class learning opportunities to more people. I’m delighted to join FutureLearn at this exciting stage in its growth to become a world leading platform for learners seeking to reach their personal and professional goals through short online courses, microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.”

FutureLearn’s CEO, Andy Hancock, said: 

“This is a great outcome for FutureLearn.  We’ve secured a strong, strategic partner with broad sector knowledge which can support the scale and investment we need. We are excited about the growth opportunities ahead as part of the GUS group. We look forward to working together to meet the demand for higher education and continue to help close global skill gaps.”

FutureLearn was advised by Houlihan Lokey on the partnership with GUS.

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