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Two Major MOOC Platforms Set for Global Expansion - But what will this mean for learners?

Posted in 'Featured' started by Carolyn, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Founder at MoocLab Staff Member

    Suffolk, UK
    MOOC globalisation.jpg
    In under a week, two of the world's leading MOOC platforms have announced securing large investments which will go towards their global expansion. UK MOOC platform, FutureLearn announced today receiving a £50m investment, and the US platform Coursera announced last week it had secured $103 million in a Series E round. In both cases, the financing was led by Australia-based SEEK Group, which invests in and scales online employment and education businesses.

    With the new capital, Coursera is estimated to be worth over $1 billion, and FutureLearn is now valued at GBP £100m (approximately USD $129m). Both platforms launched in 2012 and have seen rapid growth in terms of number of courses as well as registered learners - over the past six years, Futurelearn has reached over nine million learners, and Coursera a staggering 40 million learners.

    So, what do these MOOC giants have in mind? Coursera have stated that the additional funding will allow them to further expand internationally and to accelerate the development of a learning platform preparing individuals, companies, and governments to address the "Fourth Industrial Revolution". FutureLearn are looking to "transform access to education" by taking their offering into new parts of the world and "unlock FutureLearn’s true potential".

    Will this global expansion bring dramatic change? Probably not. In recent years, MOOC platforms have been moving away from their initial promise of opening up education to underserved learners towards serving primarily those who already hold college degrees, and introducing paywalls for extras such as assessments and certificates. And who can blame them? Like any business, MOOC platforms have to be sustainable. However, expanding their offerings to new businesses and governments willing to offer the courses to learners free of charge may be the way forward in "transforming access to education".

    Article by Carolyn McIntyre, Founder & CEO at MoocLab.club
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