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FutureLearn appoints Ian Howell as Managing Director

LONDON, 14 JUNE 2023: FutureLearn, a global social learning platform with 18 million learners and a vast portfolio of online courses, announces the appointment of Ian Howell as its new Managing Director. 

Ian Howell officially joins the FutureLearn team on 19 June, bringing a wealth of experience accumulated during his extensive tenure in the higher education sector. 

Prior to joining FutureLearn, Ian held the position of Chief Executive Officer for Higher Ed Partners (HEP) in the EMEA region. Ian joined HEP as a founding member in 2017 and played a pivotal role in establishing the company as a leading online degree business in the UK. Furthermore, he led the expansion of the business into Continental Europe and Africa. 

Before his time at HEP, Ian served in key leadership roles at The Open University (OU) for six years, overseeing international student recruitment, corporate sales, strategic partnerships and apprenticeships. 

Commenting on his appointment, Ian stated, “During my time at The OU, I worked alongside colleagues who established the FutureLearn operation over 10 years ago, so I’m familiar with the company and excited by the opportunities ahead.” 

“I see FutureLearn as being uniquely positioned to work with governments, university partners, industry participants and learners to address critical skills deficiencies prevalent across all economies. I am thrilled to join the FutureLearn team and lead the business through its next phase of development.” 

Before moving to The Open University, Ian enjoyed an eleven-year career at Thomson Reuters, where he held several leadership positions within the Asset Management Division. Before that, he served as an officer in the British Army. 

Lord Jo Johnson, Chairman of FutureLearn, says, “I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Ian, who has demonstrable experience in the HEI sector and joins us at an exciting time.”

“FutureLearn is extremely well positioned to build on its success in the digital learning space and is rapidly advancing towards an exciting new strategy. With Ian’s leadership, I am confident that he will help to accelerate FutureLearn’s growth in the sector, bolstering our already strong leadership team and establishing us to be the go-to platform for career-based learning and future skills development.” 

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