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10 Mar 2016

Scheme signposts alternative route into higher education

The University of York is to offer a new free pathway aimed at attracting a broader range of learners into higher education.

UoY campusIn partnership with FutureLearn, the University will launch four MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses over the next two years in an initial pilot phase of development. The aim is to attract new and diverse audiences from across the world to sample the benefits of a York education.

The University is encouraging staff involved in teaching and learning to develop and submit proposals for MOOCs. A panel of senior academics and administrators led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students, Professor John Robinson, will decide which four are included in the pilot.

The free courses lasting between two and eight weeks have no formal entry requirements and students do not usually earn credits, though learners who complete a course may be awarded a statement of completion.

Learners can range from checking if a subject is right for them before enrolling in formal education, to teachers looking for tips to inform their own teaching, or people who simply enjoy being better informed.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts, said: “This is an exciting initiative which will make it easier for learners across the world to sample the innovation, teaching expertise and the vibrant student experience which are an integral part of a University of York education.

“We are extremely pleased to work with FutureLearn on this project. It will help us to demonstrate both the strength of our academic programmes and the impact of our research, as well as helping us to develop partnerships with other leading institutions.”

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn said: “We’re delighted to be working with the University of York for the first time to provide free, online courses for students looking to extend and expand their learning online.

“The University of York’s courses will open the door to tertiary study for learners returning to formal education and people seeking a career change or wanting to expand their skills and knowledge.”

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