The UK has reportedly launched its biggest online university project with more than 20 colleges offering free courses, The Times of India reports.

The project, called FutureLearn, is going to bring UK universities in the global market of massive open online courses (Moocs). Universities minister David Willetts said that the project could revolutionize conventional models of formal education and help to serve the unmet demand for university courses, particularly overseas.

According to the BBC, the FutureLearn project will have 21 UK universities apart from Trinity College Dublin and Monash University in Australia and offer courses that are taught and assessed on the internet.

Universities are hoping that many people will be attracted by the chance to follow university-level courses without any travel or cost and at a time that suits them and out of 20 short courses announced, eight will start this year.

The study material will be provided by the British Library, British Museum and British Council.

The report said that the universities are anticipating that each Mooc course will attract 20,000 students and they will also see the project as a way of recruiting students to degree courses.

Vice Chancellor of the Open University Martin Bean said that he expects some universities to begin thinking about how to offer formal credits for Moocs.

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