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In March 2013, the British Council joined the UK’s first massive open online platform Futurelearn. Fututelearn Ltd., a new company launched by The Open University in December 2012, now has 19 partners, including top UK universities, the British Library and the British Council.
According to the British Council’s Chief Executive, Martin Davidson, “the British Council has been bringing the UK’s education sector to people around the world for almost eighty years, so it’s very exciting that with Futurelearn we’re able to expand that to millions more people through the MOOC platform. We hope that our recognised experience in English language learning and delivering assessments and examinations in nearly a hundred countries will contribute to making FutureLearn even more attractive for ambitious learners around the world.”
This announcement follows the visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to Mumbai, accompanied by six Futurelearn partners, who took the opportunity to raise awareness of the company and UK online education. According to David Cameron “Britain boasts some of the best universities in the world. This innovative new offer led by The Open University will mean that Indian students can access some of the best teaching and learning online from their home in Mumbai or Delhi. I’m delighted that Futurelearn is expanding to include more British universities and the British Library. I hope it will encourage many more Indian students to take the next step and study with a UK university”.
Futurelearn is the first UK company entering into the MOOC market, until now dominated by American platforms like Coursera, Udacity and edX. The first students should be able to access Futurelearn courses later this year.Futurelearn