University of Leeds in the vanguard of new online courses


A free course launched by the University of Leeds forms the first wave of a new approach to online learning.

Fairness and Nature: When Worlds Collide is one of the first MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) offered in partnership with FutureLearn - a company built on the Open University's expertise in delivering online and distance education. The course focuses on why fairness needs to be part of natural resource management policy.

Led by globally-respected geographer Professor Jon Lovett, who holds Leeds' Leadership Chair of Global Challenges, the two-week 'mini-MOOC' will be the first of FutureLearn's courses to finish, running for two weeks from October 21.

MOOCS are free for all, with potential students of all ages from across the globe able to choose a course that interests them and learn from the University of Leeds' top academics – benefiting from virtual access to world-leading researchers in their field and studying at a pace that suits them.

FutureLearn is working with renowned institutions including the British Council, the British Library and the British Museum, as well as other top universities across the world.

Dr Neil Morris, Director of Digital Learning at the University of Leeds, said:

"At Leeds, research is at the core of our learning and teaching, drawing on the latest discoveries and knowledge to inform our courses.

"All of our MOOCs are presented by academics at the forefront of their subjects, who can bring to life advanced topics and make them accessible to a wider audience."

Professor Jon Lovett, Chair in Global Challenges at the University of Leeds, said:

"We are targeting the MOOC at audiences that don’t have access to the high quality education we provide here at Leeds – such as Nepal, which features prominently as a key case study.

"This MOOC gives information about institutional economics and how it can be applied in real situations. If the participants take the message on board, then environmental change will result."

For more information, to watch a trailer and to sign up to Fairness and Nature: When Worlds Collide, visit

Further information

For interviews with Dr Neil Morris, Director of Digital Learning at the University of Leeds, or Professor Jon Lovett, Chair in Global Challenges, contact Gareth Dant, Press Officer, University of Leeds, on 0113 343 3996 or email