FutureLearn, a London, UK-based platform that connects people and ideas with free online courses, received a £50M investment.
SEEK Group (ASX: SEK), a market leader in the creation and management of online education and employment businesses, will invest £50m to become a joint, 50% owner of The Open University’s FutureLearn social learning platform.
Launched in December 2012 by the Open University with a dozen UK university partners to test opportunities offered by digital learning and massive open online courses (known as MOOCs) and led by CEO Simon Nelson, the platform offers short online courses right through to postgraduate diplomas and certificates and fully online degrees, all designed around social learning.
FutureLearn partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organizations such as Accenture, the British Council, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (NHS).
The new partnership with SEEK will have contractual arrangements in place to protect the University’s academic independence, teaching methods and curriculum.
FutureLearn is involved in UK government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps including The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education. It currently has six university partners offering full, online degrees on the platform, and has most recently launched Unlimited, a new business model allowing learners access to most courses for a one-off annual payment.