The University of Groningen today joins FutureLearn as its first partner from The Netherlands, and the latest international institution to offer free online courses on the social learning platform. The partnership marks the Dutch university’s first foray into massive open online courses (MOOCs), and comes as the University of Groningen celebrates its 400th anniversary with a month-long programme of activities aimed at establishing its future as a major contributor to education, research and social development.
The University of Groningen becomes FutureLearn’s 27th university partner, with more international institutions set to be announced in the coming weeks. FutureLearn’s tally of partners currently stands at 30, comprising universities as well as cultural institutions like the British Council, British Library and British Museum. Built to support a community of people learning through conversation, FutureLearn has seen high levels of engagement and participation since its first courses began in October last year.
The first course from the University of Groningen will begin on FutureLearn.com this September, adding to its Business and Management portfolio. The trans-disciplinary course will target people in, or aspiring to leadership roles, and teach them the first principles of complexity, uncertainty and how to make decisions in a complex world.
Simon Nelson, Chief Executive, FutureLearn, said: “We’re entering an exciting period of expansion and it’s my great pleasure to welcome the University of Groningen as FutureLearn’s first partner from The Netherlands. It’s especially significant that we enter into this collaboration as the University celebrates 400 years of excellence in teaching and research. Our global community of learners will gain access to some of Europe’s leading educators through the free online courses that the University of Groningen will launch on FutureLearn.”
Sibrand Poppema, Chairman of the Board at the University of Groningen, said: “Our university has 400 years of teaching experience and offers many valuable courses, for instance in our priority areas of healthy aging, energy and sustainable society. We are now taking the opportunity to do so for a global audience. With FutureLearn we are partnering with a well thought through educational platform and also with an excellent group of universities.”
FutureLearn is wholly owned by The Open University, a 44-year veteran in distance and online learning. The site went live in September 2013 as the first UK-led provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Its free online courses currently reach over 300,000 learners in more than 190 countries and territories around the world.