Mark Lester, Head of Higher Education Partnerships, talks about the comparatively high interest of Greek Learners in FutureLearn and the potential of online Education
The opportunity of a UK education appears to hold a strong appeal for Greek students. With people from over 150 countries having signed up to FutureLearn already, a large proportion of those have been from Greece. In fact, our Greek membership numbers are second only to the UK at the moment. Interestingly,Greece, with its population of 11 million, is one of the smallest countries in our top ten list of sign ups.
Michael Peak at the British Council agreed with our findings, saying, “The UK is a popular study destination for international students.” Additionally, UNESCO figures from 2012 reveal that 11,733 Greek students made the move to study at UK universities last year.*
This interest in the UK is driven by a combination of factors, including limited local university places, the kudos of an international education and the desire to learn English to enhance international mobility.
Michael Peak continued, “The UK gives students an opportunity to share ideas and make connections with students from all around the world, and to learn from some of the world’s leading academics.”
Greek interest in FutureLearn indicates that potential learners are just as passionate about online education. We contacted specialists in the Greek higher education sector who advised us that the potential for lifelong learning – delivered flexibly around work and at relatively low expense – is a popular alternative to traditional educational models. Against the backdrop of a financial crisis in Greece, interest in online learning continues to rise steadily, in spite of a free local higher education system.
Student recruitment agents also report that massive, open, online courses (MOOCs) are offering people the chance to sample the quality of education and professors before making the big step to study abroad.
Nevertheless, it is not just potential graduates who see value in online education and MOOCs. Executives and young professionals are also looking to enhance their career prospects, locally and internationally, through high quality short courses.
We heartily welcome our Greek members, with all our other learners from around the world, and look forward to offering a world class, enjoyable and engaging learning experience. Our courses from universities in the UK and internationally are designed to open up new opportunities for career improvement and personal enrichment.
*  Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, “Global Flow of Tertiary-Level Students”, 2012