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FutureLearn welcomes Shanghai International Studies University to its global partnership

FutureLearn, the UK-based social learning platform, has today partnered with Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), a global centre of excellence in foreign language teaching.

Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn, and Professor Cao Deming, President of SISU

SISU becomes the latest leading Chinese university to sign up to create high quality educational experiences for FutureLearn’s global community of learners through massive open online courses (MOOCs). SISU joins the growing number of prestigious higher and specialist education institutions offering free online courses on, together with world-renowned cultural bodies like the British Council, British Library and British Museum.

A signing ceremony to seal the partnership took place in Shanghai this morning (Friday 21st November), attended by Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn, and Professor Cao Deming, President of SISU.

FutureLearn works by connecting people around the world who learn by engaging in conversation around course content provided by some of the world’s leading educators. The first course from SISU will launch on FutureLearn in April 2015 and will focus on Intercultural Communication.

Speaking of the new partnership Simon Nelson said: “I am delighted to welcome Shanghai International Studies University to the FutureLearn partnership, not only as a positive step towards creating links between Chinese and international students, but for the innovations in teaching language, culture and literature that SISU will bring to our global community of learners. I am pleased that FutureLearn can act as a conduit to take SISU’s brand and expertise to a worldwide audience.”

President Cao said, “SISU is glad to join the FutureLearn community. Drawing on our strengths in multilingual and multicultural studies, SISU looks forward to bringing our high-quality courses to learners around the world. This partnership will provide worldwide learners with easier access to oriental thought and wisdom, as well as enable Chinese students to enjoy the diversity of global learning resources on this online platform. This partnership will serve as a bridge between Chinese and world culture and a positive step towards more international resources for FutureLearn.”

SISU joins a growing number of Chinese universities signing up to offer free online courses on FutureLearn. In June this year, Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University become the first institutions from China to partner with FutureLearn, with agreements signed as part of the China-UK Prime Ministerial summit in London, attended by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

FutureLearn is wholly owned by The Open University, a world leader in distance and online learning with more than 44 years of experience. The website went live in September 2013 following the rapid development of MOOCs in the global higher education sector. FutureLearn currently reaches close to 750,000 learners in more than 190 countries and territories around the world, studying more than 1.5 million courses between them.

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