Sector News

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn
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FutureLearn.com, the leading social learning platform, jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group, today announced that it has reached a significant milestone - 10 million people have now signed up to study on the platform. 

The company also reports that they now have learners in every country in the world. Over 70% of these learners are from outside the UK, where FutureLearn is based, and about 60% of the learners on the platform are female. Overall, those learners have made 35 million comments on the social learning platform. 

What does 10 million learners look like? 

For those wondering what 10 million learners looks like in relation to some of the well-known traditional, campus-based universities, it equates to 416 Oxford Universities, 436 Harvards, 212 University of Melbournes. Additionally, in the 2017/18 academic year, there were 2.3 million students at UK higher education institutions; 10 million learners is just over quadruple the student population of the UK in that year. 

FutureLearn partners

FutureLearn launched in December 2012 with 23 founding partners and now boasts over 175 global partners, including over a quarter of the world’s top 250 universities with recent additions including the University of Michigan, The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) and The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

How many courses?

The first online course launched on the platform in October 2013. Today, 6 years after that first course, learners have had the opportunity to study on over 2,400 unique courses on the platform in a huge variety of subjects including healthcare, business, teaching and digital skills. 

For some of the platform’s most popular courses, learners have spent hundreds of years combined studying those courses. For example, FutureLearners have spent a combined 1,308 years studying on the Understanding IELTS online course run by the British Council. 

This year, learners have been able to take out an annual subscription to FutureLearn through its Unlimited business model whereby they can take as many upgrade model short online courses as they want during that year. Learners have also been able to take undergraduate and postgraduate degrees on the platform, with the University of Glasgow being the latest partner to announce it will be running degrees on FutureLearn.com

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn commented;

“Reaching 10 million learners is a huge achievement for us and I’m incredibly proud of what the team has done within the last six years. We’ve evolved from a MOOC platform to a platform that still delivers an increasing number and variety of short online courses but also accredited programs, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Of course, we couldn’t have achieved any of this without our partners and our learners; it’s been a fantastic journey so far and it’s only getting started! The demand for lifelong learning is clear - people want to keep learning throughout their lives, whether it’s for the love of learning or to develop skills to further their careers, and the flexibility offered through online learning makes this possible. We’re on a mission to transform access to education and we can’t wait to welcome 10 million more learners to our global community.”

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. FutureLearn has ten million people signed up worldwide.

FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives.

It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE). It’s also involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

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