The University of Derby has partnered with FutureLearn.com to offer its courses to the leading social learning platform’s 16+ million users.
The first University of Derby course to be launched on the FutureLearn platform will be ‘Nature Connectedness: For a new relationship with nature’, which is endorsed by Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England.
The course, which teaches the value of having a strong relationship with nature, has been developed using nationally recognised research by Professor Miles Richardson, Professor of Nature Connectedness at Derby, and his colleagues from the University’s Nature Connectedness Research Group.
The course was launched at the University of Derby Online Learning summit on 15 June, and learners are now able to pre-register their interest in it.
The partnership will enable the University to engage with FutureLearn’s millions of users worldwide and host course tasters to international students as part of the Study UK campaign, a partnership between the British Council, the GREAT Britain campaign and FutureLearn, which provides practical information and insight on UK education.
Speaking about the partnership, Julie Stone, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor External Affairs and Director of Online Learning at the University of Derby, said: “As we celebrate a decade of experience in designing and developing online teaching for a global student body at Derby, I am thrilled that we are forming a new partnership with FutureLearn to enable us to deliver our online courses to even more learners worldwide.
“The UK government’s 25-year Environment Plan aims to connect people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing. To achieve this, people everywhere need to feel that nature matters to them, and this course will support that aim.”
Justin Cooke, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer at FutureLearn, added: “At FutureLearn we’re committed to transforming learning for a better future, and we are delighted to build on this shared mission with the University of Derby.
“Our relationship with the natural world has become an increasingly urgent issue, especially in light of the climate crisis and the UK hosting COP26 in Glasgow in November. Furthermore, research from our Future of Learning report found that over two fifths (42%) of UK adults want to learn how to be more conscientious citizens of the world and are actively educating themselves about issue such as environmental sustainability on digital platforms.
“In partnership with Derby’s leading experts on the Nature Connectedness course, we hope to give our more than 16 million global learners access to new skills and knowledge that will inspire them to see the world around us in new ways.”