In 2021, FutureLearn gained 2 million new learners, more than the 1.3 million from 2019, and less than the 5 million from 2020, during thepandemic boost. More than 17 million learners have joined FutureLearn since the company was established in 2013.
After 9 months of operation with an interim CEO following the resignation of Simon Nelson, the company’s first CEO, at the end of 2020, Andrew (Andy) Hancock took up the reins in October.
Now, FutureLearn has over 250 partners; 108 of them are universities.
2021 saw the introduction of FutureLearn’s first subscription-based ExpertTracks. Two-thirds of ExpertTracks are produced by specialist organizations rather than universities.
For Class Central‘s complete analysis of FutureLearn’s 2021, keep reading. For our previous years’ analyses, follow the links:
 The numbers represent the total number of courses offered in that particular year.
 Graduate and Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas are listed under academic certificates, not under degrees.
The number of active courses on the platform increased to 1377 (up from 1158 last year). Data collected by Class Central shows that in 2021, FutureLearn launched 591 new courses, 306 of which are new free MOOCs.
Around 40% of courses launched by FutureLearn came from non-universities.
Below, you can see FutureLearn’s ten most popular MOOCs launched in 2021. Enrollments in these ten courses totalled 209k, with the top two accounting for more than half of this number.
January 2021 saw the launch of a new subscription-based model, ExpertTrack. During the year, nearly 100 ExpertTracks were launched attracting over 26k enrollments, according to our data. Around one third are offered by universities including The University of Michigan, University of Leeds, and Coventry University. Other ExpertTracks are offered by a wide range of partners including National STEM Learning Centre, ClickSlice, British Council, and BBC Good Food.
Microcredentials and Programs
WIth the introduction of ExpertTracks, the total number of regular microcredentials and programs has stagnated. 67 are currently listed, which is one less than last year. But a closer look shows that 50 of these offer university credit, up from 30 in 2020. As with any university course, before enrolling you need to check if you can transfer the credit if your degree will be issued by a different university.
A few microcredentials offer a certificate issued by FutureLearn or its partner for the course.
Microcredentials are generally not available for free audit. As in the past, courses in Programs can generally be audited for free. Programs may be the loser from the rise of ExpertTracks, with only 9 listed in late 2021, compared to 36 in 2020.
[-] Masters Degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action
[-] Cyber Security
[-] Information Technology Leadership
[-] MSc Nursing
[-] MSc Global Logistics
[-] MA Management (Advanced Standing)
[-] BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management
[-] BA in International Business (Top Up)
£9,250 (UK/EU students) £13,900 (International students)
[*] MA Educational Leadership offers a choice of a fully online version or a blended version; the blended version combines online distance learning with two 3-day face-to-face residential seminars.
FutureLearn now boasts more than 250 partners, up from 202 last year.
After the 2020 explosion of online learning, FutureLearn, like other course providers, found 2021 quieter, but new courses continue to be released. In 2021, driven by the predominantly non-university-created ExpertTracks, a lower percentage are from universities.
Online learning specialist, still learning after 100+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018.
I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so I set up a website: www.onlinelearningsuccess.org