UK universities in online launch to challenge US

Southampton University students

They will aim to give the public access to higher education courses via computers, tablets or smartphones.

The partnership will include the Open University, King’s College London, Bristol, Exeter, Warwick, East Anglia, Leeds, Lancaster, Southampton, Cardiff, Birmingham and St Andrews.

Courses will be offered from next year.

This could “revolutionise conventional models of formal education”, says Universities Minister David Willetts.

The project will represent the biggest UK response to rapidly growing online universities – with these universities planning to offer courses through a shared online platform.

‘Global brands’

There are usually no formal entry requirements for students on such courses but individual universities will have to decide how students can be examined and accredited.


Martin Bean, the Open University’s vice-chancellor, said that the arrival of online courses meant that UK universities could either “stick their heads in the sand” or rise to the international challenge.

The vice-chancellor said higher education had to face up to the impact of the internet on delivering courses.

A new company called FutureLearn is being set up to run this online project, which will be majority-owned by the Open University.


“The big frontier” for online universities, says Mr Bean, is how to test and award credits for such large numbers of students.

BBC News – UK universities in online launch to challenge US


One thought on “UK universities in online launch to challenge US

  1. Reblogged this on MOOC Shake and commented:
    Good to see the UK getting out in front of the MOOC movement, hope to see other countries follow suit, particularly non-English speaking ones. I’ll be taking a MOOC course through the university of Edinburgh next term, through Coursera. Still begs the question of how national higher education systems will accommodate and adapt to a technology with the potential to disrupt or even destroy their business model…

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