FutureLearn.com, the number one ranked online learning platform in the UK, offering short-courses, microcredentials and fully online degrees to over 10 million learners worldwide, on behalf of over 150 high quality universities and leading organisations, has appointed Ron Kalifa, OBE to join the FutureLearn Board as Chair, effective immediately.
Ron joins the Board alongside members from FutureLearn, The Open University (founders of FutureLearn in 2012) and The SEEK Group (invested £50m to become 50% shareholders in FutureLearn in April 2019, thought to be the largest ever private-sector EdTech investment in Europe).
Ron, a strategic and operational leader in the field of eCommerce and financial systems, will bring his commercial and relevant experience to help FutureLearn become a leading global platform for digital and online courses, particularly from his time spearheading the growth of Worldpay, the leading international payments platform, where he served as CEO and Vice Chairman.
Ron Kalifa OBE, Chair of FutureLearn, commented: “EdTech is a critical enabler for the future of education and an enormously exciting sector right now, with VC funding growing 14 fold in the last decade.”
Ron continued: “Collaboration is one of the most important enablers for success and FutureLearn already works with a quarter of the world’s top universities. The partnership promotes collaboration between these universities and industry partners to create valuable and useable content accessible to the masses. This is a great foundation for success. FutureLearn is at the heart of a revolution in access to education and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”
Simon Nelson, Chief Executive, FutureLearn, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Ron to the wider FutureLearn team as our independent Chair. Of course, his experience speaks for itself so I have no doubt that he’s going to be a tremendous driving force for our future success, but what I’m especially excited by is his shared passion and vision for our purpose of transforming access to education.”
Josh Nester, Education Director, SEEK, commented “The ability for FutureLearn to attract someone of Ron’s calibre, combined with his passion for the business, is a strong reflection of the impact and opportunity that FutureLearn has in education. We are pleased to welcome Ron to the Board and the successful track record of value creation in digital platforms which he brings.”
Jonathan Nicholls, OU Director on the FutureLearn Board, The Open University, said: “Ron’s decision to accept the appointment as independent Chair of FutureLearn is hugely welcomed by the University. His commitment to education and his outstanding abilities and profile will undoubtedly be a major boost to us and our partners as we fulfil our ambitions to make FutureLearn one of the world’s leading educational platforms.”
Ron was appointed a Non-Executive Director (NED) of the Court of Directors to the Bank of England in June 2019 and is on the Council of Imperial College, London. Additionally, Ron is a NED for Transport for London and the England and Wales Cricket The Hundred Board, as well as an Operating Partner for Advent International.
Ron was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year 2018 Honours List for services to financial services and technology.
FutureLearn is an online course provider that partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (NHS). The platform offers its 10 million learners globally access to short online courses right through to postgraduate diplomas and certificates and fully online degrees, and most recently microcredentials, all designed around social learning.
Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support over 10 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE), 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.