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Coventry makes “massive” move into online degree market with FutureLearn

Coventry University and FutureLearn, the social learning company, have announced today that they will partner to roll out 50 degrees over the next five years.  

The degrees will be available entirely online to make them accessible to thousands of new distance learners across the globe. Working with UK-based FutureLearn, which has over six million learners worldwide, the university plans to launch its first master’s programmes in early 2018 as it builds on its global successes of recent years.

Postgraduate programmes across business and law, health and life sciences, and engineering disciplines will be amongst the first degrees which, as part of the new offer, will be able to be studied on desktops or mobile phones from anywhere in the world. Learners may begin studying for free and complete a range of short pathway courses before deciding to enrol in the degree. The degrees will be pay-as-you-go to make learning both manageable and flexible.

The university’s leaders say the new degrees will herald significant change and innovation in the way its educational content and traditional degree offerings are designed and delivered across its group – including its Coventry, London and Scarborough campuses – as well as through its transnational education partners worldwide.

Ian Dunn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience at Coventry University, said:

“Higher education is not limited by the physical or geographical boundaries that it once was, and we believe online learning has a huge role to play in the future of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarship.

“For Coventry, the growth of our online programmes will be a catalyst to revolutionise the way we teach at our university, with possibilities emerging for bite-sized learning for those with busy lives, and free modules for those who want to try before committing to study.

“We’re incredibly excited to be taking these plans forward with FutureLearn, and look forward to working with them and their world-leading online learning platform.”

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn, said:

“We are delighted to be working with a world-leading institution like Coventry University to deliver an initiative of such scale and significance to the global higher education market. In the face of political and economic uncertainty, UK universities need to find new ways to attract and serve an international cohort of students, as well as compete globally. FutureLearn’s commitment to delivering a high quality social learning environment that is delivered in a flexible and accessible way, means that our partners can reach students everywhere with a cutting-edge learning experience.”

About Coventry University:  Coventry University is a dynamic, global and transformational ‘modern university’ whose roots can be traced back to 1843 to the Coventry School of Design. With a proud tradition as a provider of innovative teaching and learning and a focus on impactful research, the University has established a robust reputation for pushing the boundaries of higher education regionally, nationally and across the world.

Coventry was named ‘University of the Year’ in the THE Awards 2015, and is the country’s top modern university in the Guardian University Guide 2018, in which it ranks 12th overall. Coventry was also named ‘Modern University of the Year’ in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for three years running from 2014 to 2016.

About FutureLearn:  Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 6 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.

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