Futurelearn, the U.K.’s first large-scale alliance between traditional higher education institutions aimed at testing the waters of MOOCs (massively open online courses), has bolstered the number of partners signed up to offer free courses. Five more universities are joining the original 12 announced last December, along with the British Library — which has signed an agreement with Futurelearn to develop online courses using BL resources.
The British Library’s addition to the roster is interesting, being as, although it runs some workshops and training courses, it’s not a traditional higher education institution — underlining how MOOCs’ campus-less, remotely delivered education model broadens the pool of potential education providers, as well as widening access for students.
The five new university signs-up to Futurelearn are the universities of Bath, Leicester, Nottingham, Queen’s Belfast and Reading. The original 12 who formed Futurelearn are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Southampton, St Andrews and Warwick, along with UK distance-learning organization The Open University (OU).