Ian Howell

Our vision is to emerge as the premier career advancement partner for professionals and university students across the globe.

Ian Howell, Managing Director of FutureLearn and a new Board member of the Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance (GMA), outlined FutureLearn’s vision and future collaboration plan at the annual GMA Board Meeting.

To achieve this, we focus on providing learning pathways that resonate with the specific career aspirations within key sectors. We believe that learning is an ongoing process, and our goal is to facilitate that process for every professional and student, regardless of their field or level of experience.

Furthermore, FutureLearn is spearheading a transformative approach to education access. We recognise that the traditional routes to gain accreditation may not always be feasible or the best fit for everyone. As such, we offer alternative routes designed to empower professionals and students to acquire the essential skills they need to elevate their career trajectories. This innovative approach includes a focus on continuing to invest in microcredentials and modular learning, which ensures that career advancement is not only possible, but also achievable, for all professionals.

At FutureLearn, we fundamentally believe in the transformative power of education and its potential to foster a more inclusive and diverse global society. With this guiding principle, we’ve built an online learning platform that is not just a marketplace for courses, but an environment that encourages and supports individuals from all walks of life. Regardless of ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, or sexual orientation, our platform has been designed to empower every learner to achieve their professional and personal development goals.

Recognising the rich tapestry that makes up our global community, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment that respects and values diversity. Our platform is not just about offering courses; it is about building bridges that connect people from various backgrounds and fostering a sense of belonging.

Global MOOC and Online Education Alliance (GMA) members consist of world-leading universities and platforms from across the globe. We are delighted to work with current members under the guideline and leadership of GMA to:

  • foster a more inclusive and diverse global society regardless of demographic and socioeconomic background
  • promote academic excellence and innovation of digital education
  • identify, address and solve key challenges of digital learning
  • drive innovative approaches for pedagogical and technological advancement on digital education
  • share FutureLearn’s best practice and experience with the members through activities and events ogansied by GMA
  • establish and strength bilateral or multilateral cooperation with the current members on development and globalisation of contents, platforms and technologies

More about Ian

Before moving to FutureLearn, Ian was employed as the Chief Executive Officer for Higher Ed Partners in the EMEA region. Ian joined HEP as a founding member in 2017 and played a pivotal role in growing the business to become the UK’s largest and most successful Online Programme Management company. He also led the expansion of the business in Continental Europe and Africa.

Prior to joining HEP, Ian ran commercial operations at the Open University for six years where he had direct responsibility for international student recruitment, corporate sales, strategic partnerships, and apprenticeships.

Before moving to the Open University, Ian worked for Thomson Reuters for 11 years in several senior leadership positions within their Asset Management Division and prior to this served as an officer in the British Army.

Ian holds a BA in Geography awarded by the University of Southampton and is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

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