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FutureLearn partners with Global University Systems to enhance career opportunities for millions of learners. Jo Johnson appointed chairman of the board.

1 December 2022

FutureLearn, the digital learning platform, today announced a strategic partnership with Global University Systems (GUS), a leading global higher education platform with institutions in the UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Canada, India and Singapore.

GUS will provide FutureLearn with access to its proprietary AI-powered career management solution, therefore widening FutureLearn’s offering to provide fully-fledged career advancement, linking learners with content, accreditation, mentorship and career opportunities.

This will set FutureLearn’s offering apart from competitors, giving learners a full picture of options to advance their careers, the skills they will need, and the courses which will help them to achieve their goals.

The partnership with GUS will also help FutureLearn increase its support for the United Nations Development Programme’s ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, which include:

  • ensuring equal access to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education, including that provided by universities, and 
  • substantially increasing the number of young people and adults who gain skills relevant to employment and entrepreneurship

FutureLearn will expand its existing offering, already benefiting millions of learners in its home market of the United Kingdom and across the globe, to include the needs of developing countries. This will help learners from Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean to benefit from access to thousands of courses, helping them build career-relevant skills and gain internationally recognised certification. 

GUS Founder and CEO, Aaron Etingen, said:

“We are delighted to play a role in FutureLearn’s incredible success story. In just under 10 years, FutureLearn has become the largest and most impactful online learning platform in Europe educating some 19 million people to date. Over the last 20 years GUS has developed proprietary, AI-powered career management capabilities which can strengthen the FutureLearn platform and unlock access to global markets. I am pleased to introduce Jo Johnson as a chair of the Board of Directors. We are also forming an Advisory Board, chaired by Lord David Blunkett and Douglas Blackstock with further appointments to follow shortly.”

Incoming Chairman of the Board, Jo Johnson, added:

“No company has greater potential to bring world class learning opportunities to more people. I’m delighted to join FutureLearn at this exciting stage in its growth to become a world leading platform for learners seeking to reach their personal and professional goals through short online courses, microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.”

FutureLearn’s CEO, Andy Hancock, said: 

“This is a great outcome for FutureLearn.  We’ve secured a strong, strategic partner with broad sector knowledge which can support the scale and investment we need. We are excited about the growth opportunities ahead as part of the GUS group. We look forward to working together to meet the demand for higher education and continue to help close global skill gaps.”

FutureLearn was advised by Houlihan Lokey on the partnership with GUS.


Notes to Editors

About FutureLearn

At FutureLearn we want to transform access to education; making life-long learning, re-skilling and upskilling part of everyday life. 

We partner with over 200 of the world’s top universities, brands and industry leaders to support nearly 19 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals.

We combine technology and our partnership expertise to help learners reach their personal and professional goals through short online courses, microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

We bring together academic rigour with real-life, practical skills in our learning modules, to produce better learning outcomes and set learners up for success. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations including Microsoft, Amazon Web Service, CIPD, Raspberry Pi, Health Education England (HEE), Accenture, as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

FutureLearn was founded in December 2012 by The Open University. The founding partners were: The Open University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, University of Southampton, St Andrews University, and University of Warwick.


H/Advisors Maitland (for FutureLearn)

William Clutterbuck

+447785 292 617

Jonathan Cook

+447730777 865

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