A group of leading UK universities are teaming up with the Open University to offer free online courses to students over the internet.
The Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick have agreed to partner up in a bid to open up higher education to more students in the UK and around the world.
A range of free, non-credit based courses will be offered from next year via a shared online platform provided by FutureLearn, which has been launched by the Open University.
The aim, according to FutureLearn, is for all courses to be ‘clear, simple-to-use and accessible’.
Considering a distance learning course? The Open University helps to weigh up the pros and cons in a guest post for Which? University, our new website for students looking to go into higher education.
Free online courses
The move is a response to the growing global popularity of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), offered by leading universities in the United States including Harvard, Stanford and MIT.
While the courses aren’t designed as a replacement or equivalent to university degrees, it’s hoped the initiative will help to make higher education more accessible to more people. Individual universities will set the course content, any accreditation and fee structure, while the Open University – which specialises in providing distance learning courses – will offer expertise in delivery.
More details on which courses will be offered will be announced in the new year.
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