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FutureLearn names advisory board members to support its growth

FutureLearn, the digital learning platform, today announced the appointment of  key industry leaders to an inaugural advisory board. Composed of leading figures across higher  education, private and public sectors, the new advisory board will provide strategic guidance in  support of the continuing growth and success of FutureLearn.  

Chaired by Lord David Blunkett, the new advisory board members are: 

● Sir Michael Barber, Chancellor of the University of Exeter 

● Douglas Blackstock, President of the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher  Education 

● Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Chair Of The Board Of Trustees at the Institute of Cancer  Research 

● Kirstie Donnelly, MBE, Chief Executive Officer at City & Guilds 

● Andy Haldane, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Society of Arts 

● Professor Steve West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President, and Chief Executive of the University of  the West of England, Bristol  

The advisory board will support FutureLearn in its goal of becoming the global go-to platform for  career based lifelong learning. In 2019, FutureLearn, together with its partners, launched some of the  first online microcredentials, which have since been taken by tens of thousands of learners. Last year,  the company announced plans to move into the B2B enterprise market and has been developing its  course portfolio to cater to workplace professionals. FutureLearn expects the LifeLong Loan  Entitlement to accelerate demand for stackable accredited courses in key skill gap areas.  

The new advisory board members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas that are closely  aligned to FutureLearn’s mission to make lifelong learning, reskilling and upskilling part of everyday  life. The group’s collective insights from higher education, government and industry associations seek  to ensure the continuing relevance of FutureLearn’s activities and develop initiatives that provide  value-add to learners globally.  

Commenting on the new advisory board, Lord David Blunkett said: “I would like to extend a warm  welcome to our new members to the FutureLearn Advisory Board. As FutureLearn continues its  success in the digital learning space, I look forward to working with these talented individuals as we  collectively draw down on our respective areas of expertise to provide strategic guidance that propels  FutureLearn’s growth in the sector and provide access to education to all.” 

Jo Johnson, Chairman of FutureLearn, said: “With more than two-thirds of SMEs and nearly 90% of  large companies facing skills shortages, FutureLearn can play a vital role in enabling the re-skilling and  up-skilling that learners and employers are demanding. I’m delighted that Lord David Blunkett will  chair this stellar advisory board, which will help FutureLearn fulfil its mission of widening access to  education and generating great outcomes for learners from all backgrounds.”

The FutureLearn Advisory Board is due to convene for the first time in March 2023 and will meet at regular intervals throughout the year.

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