Open University is now more open

The UK Open University, where I'm a visiting senior lecturer, has just announced a new free/open learning platform called Futurelearn: "Futurelearn will be the UK's first large-scale provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a new kind of educational offering that charges no fees, offers no formal qualifications and has no barriers to entry. The first generation of MOOCs, which has attracted millions of students from around the world, laid the foundation for widespread change in higher education. The universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King's College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick have all signed up to join The Open University in Futurelearn." (Thanks, Helen!)


  1. “Free” education is great, as long as the lecturers who design and teach the online courses see their other teaching duties diminish proportionally and their income remain stable. I have a feeling a lot of the UK move to online education is being paid out of the teaching staff’s spare time. I don’t have insider knowledge, however.

      1.  Depending on your industry, the letters may not be as important as the skills. Or you may already have some letters, but you want some additional skills. If education is provided at little to no cost to the public, will they take advantage of it and better society as a whole with increased productivity?

  2. So, is this an initiative to enable some kind of further education to the thousands who have been priced out of the OU?This was instigated by the government removing funding, and the fees rising by almost an order of magnitude.
     The OU was a shining example of open access, affordable university education for those looking to change profession, those who missed out on university after school, or even the retired wanting to learn. I fear it will soon become irrelevant and wither. 

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