FutureLearn, the leading global social learning platform, owned by The Open University, will partner with Australia’s Deakin University to offer a range of postgraduate degrees.
This is the first time a MOOC (massive open online course) provider has offered several degrees, fully online, entirely on its platform. The degrees in Cyber Security, Information Technology, Financial Planning, Humanitarian and Development Action, Property and Diabetes Education will be available from early 2017.
Students will study free, short ‘taster’ courses before deciding to commit and enrol in the equivalent of a university subject. The fee-paying programs will combine several short FutureLearn courses, to make learning manageable and flexible.
FutureLearn CEO Simon Nelson said: “We are delighted to be partnering with an institution at the forefront of online learning like Deakin, to lead the way in bringing this type of qualification to students all over the world. Studying a postgraduate degree is a significant commitment so we are very pleased to be able to give students the opportunity to start to learn for free and pay-as-they-go before committing to the full degree. Our aim is to allow our learners to study a full degree flexibly, whenever they like, wherever they are, fitting the courses around the rest of their lives.”
“Learning with a global cohort of students who are actively contributing and engaged through our approach to social learning will deliver a rich experience for learners that we think will add a new dimension to this type of post graduate study,” Mr Nelson said.
Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said Deakin was one of the first Australian universities to offer large-scale online learning and had topped student satisfaction surveys in the state of Victoria for the past six years.
“I am confident that we can open up this high satisfaction experience to global cohorts, and FutureLearn is an ideal partner because its platform is an elegant next generation learning environment that matches our curriculum framework. We offer students a streamlined and engaging education aligned with their life and career aspirations.
“Now more than ever it is incumbent on universities to provide broadening, global experiences for their students. In a troubled world where borders seem to be closing, we need more learners engaging with peers around the world. Deakin believes this can be achieved effectively through digital education at scale. These degrees are only the start, we are already exploring options for credit sharing with other FutureLearn partners around the world to further enrich the experience for our learners.”