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UConn partners with FutureLearn to expand digital education presence globally

Partnership begins with courses on anti-Black racism

The University of Connecticut has partnered with FutureLearn, one of the world’s leading social learning platforms, to begin offering courses globally as massive open online courses (MOOCs). 

UConn, a research-intensive, top 25 public university, will mark the launch of the partnership with courses on racism in the United States. A two-course series will open for enrollment on FutureLearn on February 23  Individuals can enroll in this free, public, online offering at FutureLearn’s website.

The first course, Anti-Black Racism in America by UConn sociology professor David Embrick, provides learners with a foundational grasp of anti-Black racism in order to inform a broader understanding of the global history of racism and the black-white binary that exists. The second course, Black Agency: Resistance and Resilience by UConn communications professor Shardé Davis, broadly addresses anti-Black racism in the current socio-political racial climate, and, more specifically, how Black Americans contend with it in their everyday lives, including through acts of resistance, coping strategies, and cultivating pride.

These courses introduce learners to the socio-historical and political underpinnings of anti-Black systemic racism and emphasize that anti-Blackness is a perennial issue that exists all over the world, yet shows up in notable ways in the US with effects that have persisted across centuries. 

The primary course objective is to expose learners to foundational research and concepts related to Black history, Black consciousness and Black resistance while developing learners’ understanding and potential capacity for disrupting anti-Black racism. 

FutureLearn partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support millions of learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. They use design, technology and partnerships to create flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

“We’re delighted to announce our partnership with the University of Connecticut, and to begin building on our mutual commitment to making education and continual learning accessible for all,” said Holly Shiflett, Director of Partnerships at FutureLearn. “We’re particularly proud to announce the launch of their first two courses, which are both timely in the ways they address the crucial socio-political issues surrounding anti-Black racism in the US and around the world. Looking ahead, we are excited to work with the University’s world-class faculty and experts on future courses, to develop a broader portfolio of quality online learning experiences.”

UConn’s FutureLearn courses have been developed in partnership with UConn Online and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), which has been leading the University’s efforts in online course excellence for nearly 20 years.

 “We’re excited to partner with FutureLearn to deliver open courses to a broader global audience. FutureLearn’s platform and learning approach of social and peer-to-peer learning aligns with UConn’s goals to enhance individual learner engagement to improve the learning experience,” said Peter Diplock, associate vice provost for CETL. “We look forward to working with FutureLearn to deliver courses that meet the needs and interests of their global audience.”


About Future Learn

Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education to help create a brighter future. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities and industry partners to support millions of 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 in the UK 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, SamsungUK 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.


About UConn

UConn’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge by means of scholarly and creative achievements, undergraduate, graduate and professional education, and outreach. As a land, sea, and space grant institution, we promote the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural and natural environments of the state and beyond. 

UConn is Connecticut’s public flagship research university, with more than 32,000 students, 1,500 faculty and 255,000 alumni.  UConn’s main campus is in Storrs, with regional campuses in Hartford, Waterbury, Stamford, and Avery Point (Groton), as well as UConn Health in Farmington. With an annual operating budget in excess of $2 billion, collaborative research is carried out within the departments of UConn’s 14 schools and colleges, across its campuses, UConn Health, and at its 80 research centers and institutes.

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