The 27 courses as part of the Study with Australia pilot aim to showcase Australia’s research and education, as well as promote excellence in online learning. Further courses will continue to be added until June 30.
The move is part of Australia’s virtual recruitment plans, according to Austrade Global Education lead, Rebecca Hall.
“FutureLearn will give our international students a digital pass to online learning”
“While Australian universities have been quick to embrace digital technologies and innovation, recent events have necessitated a rapid transition to online learning and FutureLearn will give our international students a digital pass to online learning,” she said.
By providing access to high-quality online learning resources from leading Australian education providers, international students will continue to be supported in their education and learning goals during the challenging time, she added.
“This pilot with FutureLearn will enable us to provide free online access to a wide range of courses from leading Australian education institutions, leaving the door to learning open while international travel is restricted,” Hall continued.
FutureLearn – jointly owned by Open University UK and the SEEK Group – has 12 million learners globally.
“Our mission is to broaden access to education on a global scale,” said FutureLearn CEO, Simon Nelson.
“We are already working with a number of Australian higher education partners to do just that through a broad range of high-quality courses, degrees and now micro-credentials. Through this partnership with Austrade, we will continue to deliver on our mission.”
Until now, the psychology suite are proving most popular, as well as the Professional Resilience, Power of Podcasting and Leading Culturally Diverse Teams, which all have thousand of enrolments each, organisers said.
The target audiences include current students, those unable to be onshore for planned studies, prospective students for onshore, offshore or further online study, and global learners in 16 key markets in decline or at risk.
Those markets include China, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Colombia and the US.
Students are reached through targeted digital marketing activity, through the education provider’s own marketing channels, Study Australia Partners (digital channels of all government agencies and study clusters) and via FutureLearn’s more than 11 million learners.
“This is a pilot that will inform our broader thinking on virtual recruitment and promoting all of Australia’s capability to enable more global learners to study with Australia,” organisers added.
“This is a pilot that will inform our broader thinking on virtual recruitment”
For students currently in Australia, the government has introduced a number of initiatives, including emergency bursaries, hardship funds, food banks, fee waivers and pastoral care totalling more than AU$145m.
The government has also made a range of support measures to protect international students against eviction from rental accommodation.
Credit: Australian Trade and Investment Commission
As of this week, Victoria announced an emergency support fund of $45 million, with similar funding announced by the South Australian government and Australian Capital Territory.
FutureLearn has also teamed up with the UK government to provide skills and training for UK workers who may have been furloughed or are staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ‘Study with Australia’ campaign will be available until the end of June 2020.