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UEA to offer first FutureLearn MOOC

Wed, 18 Sep 2013

The University of East Anglia's (UEA) online brand leadership course will be the first to go live following today's launch of FutureLearn.com, the first UK-led provider of free, open, online higher education courses.

Called 'The Secret Power of Brands', the course will be live from October 14, ahead of a further 20 or so courses from other FutureLearn partners over the following months.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are free online courses allowing large-scale, global participation, usually in short, topical modules. FutureLearn.com is the first UK-led multi-institutional provider, offering courses for people to access wherever they are on their unique platform, designed specifically with mobile devices in mind.

The FutureLearn launch event, held at the British Library, marked the start of an 'open beta' phase, opening registration for a selection of free courses available from its partner universities across multiple platforms.

The 10-week long 'Secret Power of Brands' course has been developed by UEA's Norwich Business School and is led by Prof Robert Jones, visiting professor and head of new thinking at global brand consultancy Wolff Olins.

The decision to launch one of the first UK-led open, online courses comes as part of the university's commitment to high quality 21st century global higher education. Prof Neil Ward, UEA's pro-vice-chancellor for academic affairs, said: "In the ever-changing higher education sector it is vital that we strive to be at the forefront of developments and can meet demand for new ways of learning.

"FutureLearn has provided UEA and its partner institutions with the opportunity to lead the way with UK-based 'MOOCS', offering our high-quality education through a new and exciting platform to an even wider audience, and I'm delighted we are the very first university to go live with our course."

Helena Gillespie, associate dean for learning, teaching and quality (faculty of Social Sciences) at UEA, said: "Higher education is changing fast; it is becoming more competitive and more global. UEA sees Open Online Courses as a key part of the 21st Century higher education experience, and we are delighted to be leading with 'The Secret Power of Brands'. This is a truly global topic, and the value of the learning experience will come from the diversity of the participants. We are really harnessing the power of the open, online course."

Wolff Olins' Robert Jones believes the content of the UEA course will mean it is one of the most popular on the FutureLearn platform: "This will be an exciting ten-week journey for anyone interested in brands and how they work. They'll learn practical creative skills and rigorous theoretical frameworks - a heady combination."

'The Secret Power of Brands' is just the first course UEA will be offering. Further courses are under construction with the next expected to be unveiled over the next few months. Registrations for the first wave of courses will be limited for the beta phase.

Visit www.futurelearn.com to sign up for access to the course lists and register for courses.