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Can the UK's confidence issues be addressed through online

Participating in online courses may in fact increase both career and personal wellbeing

Posted by Charley Rogers | May 24, 2017 | Higher education

Recent reports have revealed that as many as one third of young people in the UK are lacking confidence.

Confidence issues are faced by all ages, with factors such as employment and income-level being cited as major contributors to a person’s wellbeing; troubling statistics as the UK faces a widening skills gap and a workforce unequipped to deal with the new digital demands. With this in mind, research by global online learning provider, Coursera, reveals that taking an online course can boost overall confidence in learners of all ages and lead to improved career prospects.

As part of its annual Learner Outcomes Survey, Coursera discovered that 72 per cent of people who finished an online course expressed an increase in confidence, while 39 per cent felt that online learning gave them a feeling of added purpose. The research also revealed that the majority (84%) of those who took a course for professional purposes (‘career builders’) reported career benefits, with 18% actually starting a new job as a result. Almost all (93%) of those who completed a course to improve their education (‘education seekers’) reported educational benefits, such as gaining knowledge (64%) and deciding on an area of study (34%).

Online learning opens new doors as it provides accessible, high-quality resources that empower a person looking to learn something new or refresh their skills away from the classroom – a setting some find daunting.

“Finding the right tools to help adults in the UK boost confidence is important because a failure to do so can prevent a person reaching their full potential,” said Stephanie Durand, Head of Corporate Learning at EMEA.

“Online learning opens new doors as it provides accessible, high-quality resources that empower a person looking to learn something new or refresh their skills away from the classroom – a setting some find daunting.”

Durand continued: “Our mission is to help people transform their lives through access to education. To achieve that vision, we need to understand when and why people feel limited in their ability to reach their goals. In doing so, we can create tailored programmes with our University partners and provide courses that will equip today’s adults with the skills and confidence they need to achieve their life ambitions.”

Michael Kerrison, Director, Education Innovation and Development at the University of London, commented: “People at any stage of their lives deserve to have access to learning materials that will contribute towards progressing their career, give them a new skill, or simply build their personal confidence through learning. We’re proud to be able to offer a variety of MOOCs to enable those who don’t have the confidence or have other personal reasons not to join the University of London, to learn at a pace that suits them and helps them progress professionally, personally or academically by taking on a full course when they feel ready to do so.”

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