The Open University has announced the launch of a UK-based platform for massive open online courses (Moocs). Moocs are online university courses that use the internet to deliver video lectures and provide interactive exercises and automated testing to allow distance learning for students.
The new project, named Futurelearn, will offer free online higher education courses to students across the world. The partner universities involved are:
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- Cardiff University
- University of East Anglia
- University of Exeter
- King’s College, University of London
- Lancaster University
- University of Leeds
- University of Southampton
- University of St Andrews
- University of Warwick
The initiative stems from the development of online courses in the USA, where companies such as edX and Coursera offer around 230 Moocs to more than 3 million students.
Anthony McClaran, Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) said:
‘QAA welcomes Futurelearn led by The Open University in collaboration with its university partners from across the UK.
‘Quality and standards are the strength of UK higher education, and the basis of its international reputation. This initiative provides an opportunity to enhance this reputation by making UK higher education accessible to a worldwide audience of online students.
‘QAA looks forward to working with The Open University and its partners as this initiative develops.'
Details of the courses available on Futurelearn will be announced in the new year.