Monash, Trinity and Edinburgh join FutureLearn

The UK’s platform for free online university courses has announced its first international members.

FutureLearn, which is looking to offer massive open online courses (Moocs) from the autumn, has added Monash University in Australia and Trinity College Dublin to a list of UK universities that will offer their content for free. 

In addition, the University of Edinburgh, which already offers free courses through the US-based platform Coursera, has also joined FutureLearn.

The three new partners mean that the platform now has 26 institutions ready to offer programmes, although the service has not yet been launched to students.

Patrick Prendergast, Trinity’s provost, said that joining the platform would extend the “global reach” of its courses.

“It will widen participation and provide educational opportunities to prospective students and new audiences. As the first Irish university to join the collaboration we feel especially privileged and look forward to further delivering excellence in education across the globe,” he said.

Monash’s provost Edwina Cornish said: “Our partnership with FutureLearn enhances our endeavours and opens new doors for prospective students seeking an internationally recognised education.”

In May Simon Nelson, chief executive of FutureLearn, revealed that the platform was “looking at an autumn launch” although today’s announcement says the first courses will be put online “later this year”.

A typical FutureLearn Mooc would require between two and six hours of study a week and run for 6 to 10 weeks, he said at the Open and Online Learning conference on 16 May.

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