Students from 124 countries benefit from British university certificate initiative

by Ray Clancy on August 2, 2017

Students from 124 different developing nations have qualified for 15,000 free certificates from a British university as part of a new partnership involving a range of subjects including business management and health.

The programme involves the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and the GREAT Britain campaign using the online learning portal FutureLearn.


In order to qualify for one of the free certificates, students had to be resident in a country that is eligible for Official Development Assistance from the UK, have completed at least 90% of the steps on the course and achieved an overall score of at least 70%.

Students enrolled in 131 online courses in total, from 29 UK universities and received their certificates on a first come first served basis and the majority, some 72%, were aged 18 to 25 years old with a roughly even gender balance.

Top of the list of nationalities was India with 15.7% of applicants, then Egypt with 11.6%, Nigeria with 8.4%, Pakistan with 6.25% and Brazil with 5.7%.

The most popular types of courses were business and management or health and psychology, with over 4,000 certificates awarded in each category from the Open University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and King’s College London.

‘The Study UK initiative has been a great success both in raising the profile of UK higher education overseas, and demonstrating new aspects of international development,’ said Rob Lynes, British Council UK director.

‘Education is a vital resource in a developing economy, and the British Council’s reach, combined with the quality of the UK’s higher education institutions can lead the world in this field,’ he explained.

‘These certificates can make a real difference to the lives, the employment prospects, and the future of the eager students who are taking part,’ he added.

Simon Nelson, Futurelearn chief executive officer, pointed out that Britain has always been a leader in global education. ‘The sheer volume of enrolments from so many countries illustrates the truly global scale of online education and its ability to reach and help people anywhere to get a little closer to achieving their ambitions,’ he said.

‘Most importantly, we’re delighted that so many learners from those countries were able to benefit from the campaign and receive a tangible reward for their efforts. We hope it’s just the start of their journey,’ he added.

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