From education to employment

Learners from developing nations given access to UK education through the Study UK campaign

Learners in developing nations will receive free digital upgrades and certificates to online courses, created by UK universities, as part of a partnership between the British Council, the GREAT Britain campaign, using the social learning platform FutureLearn.

A total of 60,000 digital upgrades will be made available for free to eligible students enrolled on over 100 online courses from over 30 UK higher education institutions hosted on FutureLearn.

The free digital upgrades, which will be launched on 16 October and will allow students ongoing access to a course of their choice so they can take it at their own pace.

In order to qualify, learners must live in countries that are eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the UK and have completed five steps of the selected course.

The project follows a successful Study UK scheme which earlier this year offered 15,000 free certificates to students from ODA countries who completed particular online courses from British universities via the FutureLearn platform.

The scheme was vastly oversubscribed, receiving more than 100,000 applications from 124 developing nations.

Organisers of this latest scheme hope the larger number of available upgrades will attract hundreds of thousands of potential new students, raising the profile of British universities and their online courses to international learners.

Rob Lynes, British Council Director UK said:

“Our vision for Study UK is that students worldwide recognise that a UK education will give them the best platform to transform their lives, communities and countries.

“Development work has always been an integral part of the British Council’s mission to create international opportunities and build trust between people around the world.

“Our work improves relations with other countries by engaging young adults and giving them the knowledge and opportunity to flourish, thrive and grow.”

Simon Nelson, FutureLearn CEO said:

“FutureLearn is passionate about helping everyone to fulfil their potential by transforming access to education. To that end, we’re delighted to be playing our part in the Study UK campaign.

“Our UK partners include some of the best universities in the world and we’re proud to be able to showcase their range of credible, flexible courses to learners in areas of the world where access to education and a free digital certificate can go a long way towards helping them to improve their working lives.”

About the British Council: The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

About Study UK: Discover You: The Study UK: Discover You campaign promotes the best of British education overseas and supports the global objectives of UK universities.

The Study UK: Discover You initiative focuses on the experiences, knowledge and confidence that students can gain from UK study, whether in the UK, or overseas or through distance learning, online provision, and other models. The campaign is being delivered by the British Council and supported by nearly 100 universities.

About the GREAT Britain campaign: The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the very best of what the country has to offer to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.  It has generated returns of more than £2.7bn for the UK economy since 2012.  

About FutureLearn: Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 6.5 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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