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UK-Based FutureLearn Conducts Layoffs

In the wake of staff cuts at Coursera, edX, and Udacity, FutureLearn conducts a round of layoffs.

Message shared on LinkedIn by FutureLearn CEO Andy Hancock

Following in the footsteps of 2U/edX, Udacity, and Coursera, FutureLearn has also let go some of its employees. I learned about this via LinkedIn.

It’s unclear how many FutureLearn employees were let go, and there’s been no formal announcement on FutureLearn’s communication channels.

In October, Times Higher Education (THE) reported that FutureLearn was looking to “significantly reduce expenditure” and was searching for a new owner.

FutureLearn was originally wholly owned by the Open University (OU). In 2019, SEEK Group invested £50 million in Futurelearn, becoming joint owners with the OU. According to THE, the OU is looking to sell its 50% share.

Since the investment, FutureLearn’s losses doubled and revenue didn’t grow in line with investment.

FutureLearn: By the Numbers
Revenue Losses Learners
2021 £11.3M £16.1M 16.5M
2020 £9.9M £13.3M 13.5M
2019 £7.9M £6.6M 9.5M
2018 £8.2M £4.1M 8.0M

In this year’s July filing, we learned that FutureLearn had burned through SEEK funding and was looking for an extra £15M to survive.

According to the filing, FutureLearn’s board and shareholders have come to an agreement to provide this additional £15 million funding in 3 tranches of £5 million in July 2022, October 2022, and January 2023. The last two tranches would be “dependent on meeting agreed milestones.”

Below, you can find Class Central‘s complete analysis of FutureLearn over the years:

Dhawal Shah Profile Image

Dhawal Shah

Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.

Comments 3

  1. Elizabeth Arlington

    Using mostly future learn courses is and has been so good for improving quality of life by the expansion of knowledge and understanding , not only for younger people with burgeoning careers and the economy. I was retired, age 74, living in New Zealand during the time of earthquakes when I was introduced to m.o.o.c’s by a younger friend who was a teacher. I am still trying to do m.o.o.c’s but with difficulty recently due to health and disability issues. I now know many friends and family and others who now also do or have done these courses,so improving their lives.
    For me,now 85 years old, learning and understanding more has and is having helped my physical and psychological health and strength more than I can express.
    Many thanks to all of you for your gift to humanity. Lizz Arlington

  2. Elaine Drummond

    It was a lady I met in St Andrews Scotland who introduced me to the learning platform of future learn – the Courses are excellent and it would be sad if this life long learning is lost
    From a grateful student


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