Open University’s FutureLearn platform gets £50m investment

SEEK Group will become joint owners of the social learning platform in what is thought to be the biggest private sector edtech investment in Europe

The Open University’s (OU) social learning platform, FutureLearn, has announced a £50m investment from the private sector.  

The SEEK Group will become joint owners in the platform that now has over nine million learners. 


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Launched in 2012 by the OU with a dozen university partnersthe pioneering edtech project put the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to the test.  

Vice-chancellor of the OU, Mary Kellet, said: “Our partnership with SEEK and the investment in FutureLearn will take our unique mission to make education open for all into new parts of the world. Education improves lives, communities and economies and is a truly global product, with no tariffs on ideas.” 

Contractual arrangements will protect the OU’s independence, teaching methods and curriculum. 

Our partnership with SEEK and the investment in FutureLearn will take our unique mission to make education open for all into new parts of the world.
– Mary Kellet, OU

FutureLearn offers short online courses right through to postgraduate diplomas and certificates and fully online degrees. It is now partnered with over a quarter of the world’s top universities and several leading organisations including Health Education England (NHS), the British Council, The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.  

The SEEK Group are well established in the digital education sector in Australia, New Zealand, China, South East Asia, Brazil and Mexico.  

FutureLearn CEO Simon Nelson said: “This investment allows us to focus on developing more great courses and qualifications that both learners and employers will value.  

This includes building a portfolio of micro-credentials and broadening our range of flexible, fully online degrees and being able to enhance support for our growing number of international partners to empower them to build credible digital strategies, and in doing so, transform access to education.”  

To find out more about FutureLearn and its courses, visit the website at  https://www.futurelearn.com/