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FutureLearn and Leiden University partner to deliver online courses and microcredentials

LONDON, UK and LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS, 11 November 2019: Leiden University has partnered with, Europe’s leading social learning platform, to expand its online learning offering. The university plans to launch courses in early 2020 and hopes to deliver microcredentials later in the year.

Leiden University is at the forefront of online education in Europe, and has been delivering MOOCs to a global audience since 2013, accumulating a portfolio of over 30 courses that have reached almost one million learners. 

Several of the new courses will be from Leiden’s medical school (LUMC), with a view to creating microcredentials in this discipline and others. Leiden also intends to run some of its most successful existing online courses, such as De-Mystifying Mindfulness on the FutureLearn platform, making use of its unique social learning pedagogy. 

FutureLearn has a diverse community of 10 million learners, spanning every country in the world. The platform has an extensive portfolio of courses, programs, degrees, and soon microcredentials, with a particular focus on healthcare, teaching, business and technology. 

This new partnership recognises the global demand for micro-learning opportunities from reputable universities to help learners enhance their skills, competencies and knowledge in order to enhance their career prospects. 

The Centre for Innovation at Leiden will facilitate the partnership, and explore collaboration with universities and institutions around the globe. The university looks forward to increasing access to its world-renowned educational opportunities and empowering faculty and students to engage with innovative learning experiences.

Quote from Dr. Marlies Reinders, professor at Leiden University Medical Centre   

Marlies works and practices at Leiden University Medical College (LUMC) and teaches an online course on Clinical Kidney, Pancreas and Islet Transplantation 

Working at the forefront of advances in transplant practices means that it is vital that we have a way to share the most recent research with both students and professionals. Online courses give medical professionals from all over the world the ability to keep their clinical knowledge up to date with innovations in clinical best practices. It provides ambitious students from developing countries with limited access to transplant centers the opportunity to broaden their knowledge without traveling abroad and making extra costs. The flexibility and personalisation that online courses offer is essential to the future of education.” 

Quote from Michelle Olmstead – Director Centre for Innovation, Leiden University

“Partnering with FutureLearn will allow the Centre for Innovation to continue to improve our support for teachers, students and staff and help innovate teaching and learning at Leiden. We look forward to exploring how we can support Leiden faculty to use this digital environment to create new learning experiences and lifelong learning opportunities for students and professionals. We are excited to facilitate the interests of Leiden University in this partnership and utilise the FutureLearn platform in a way that enhances the existing work of Leiden University.”

Nigel Smith, MD of Courses and Learning at FutureLearn, said,

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Leiden University, an established, high ranking European university who understands the power of digital within the education sector and shares our commitment to lifelong learning. Flexible online credentials are the scalable solution that will bridge the ever-increasing skills gap, so adding one of the most pioneering universities in online learning to our partnership is incredibly exciting for us. This partnership will add great courses to the FutureLearn portfolio but it’s also a great addition to our global network of university partners who are always interested in collaborating and learning from each other’s experiences.”

About the Centre for Innovation, Leiden University 

The Centre for Innovation (CFI) is a think- and do- tank of Leiden University which explores education and the cutting edge of our increasingly digital future. The CFI facilitates collaboration between Leiden University, international academic institutions, societal actors and the private sector. In this collaborative environment we identify, validate and transfer innovations to harness the full potential of the digital age for education and to resolve societal challenges.

About Future Learn 

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. FutureLearn has ten million people signed up worldwide. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE). It’s also involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

To learn more, contact the Centre for Innovation at 


Contact the comms team at FutureLearn

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