The FINANCIAL -- Learners in developing nations will receive free digital upgrades and certificates to online courses, created by UK universities, as part of a partnership between the British Council, the GREAT Britain campaign, using the social learning platform FutureLearn.
A total of 60,000 digital upgrades will be made available for free to eligible students enrolled on over 100 online courses from over 30 UK higher education institutions hosted on FutureLearn, according to the British Council.
The free digital upgrades, which will be launched on 16 October and will allow students ongoing access to a course of their choice so they can take it at their own pace.
In order to qualify, learners must live in countries that are eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the UK and have completed five steps of the selected course.
The project follows a successful Study UK scheme which earlier this year offered 15,000 free certificates to students from ODA countries who completed particular online courses from British universities via the FutureLearn platform https://www.futurelearn.com/study-uk.
The scheme was vastly oversubscribed, receiving more than 100,000 applications from 124 developing nations.
Organisers of this latest scheme hope the larger number of available upgrades will attract hundreds of thousands of potential new students, raising the profile of British universities and their online courses to international learners.
Rob Lynes, British Council Director UK said: “Our vision for Study UK is that students worldwide recognise that a UK education will give them the best platform to transform their lives, communities and countries.
“Development work has always been an integral part of the British Council's mission to create international opportunities and build trust between people around the world.
“Our work improves relations with other countries by engaging young adults and giving them the knowledge and opportunity to flourish, thrive and grow.”
Simon Nelson, FutureLearn CEO said: “FutureLearn is passionate about helping everyone to fulfil their potential by transforming access to education. To that end, we’re delighted to be playing our part in the Study UK campaign.
“Our UK partners include some of the best universities in the world and we’re proud to be able to showcase their range of credible, flexible courses to learners in areas of the world where access to education and a free digital certificate can go a long way towards helping them to improve their working lives.”