UK: Skilled Education partners with LSE

Published 26/10/2020

Skilled Education, a new edtech company that designs, develops and expands online degrees and courses for universities and companies, has announced a partnership with the London School of Economics to help it provide online teaching for the 2020/21 academic year.

The company was launched earlier this year by Rajay Naik, the former CEO of Keypath Education, CCO of Study Group.

Naik is also a former director of the Open University and a leading architect of the FutureLearn MOOC platform.

“People want something responsive to their circumstances”

Skilled offers “flexible” and “responsive” options for universities and passes on the intellectual property rights for the courses that it develops, meaning that institutions can repurpose and reuse the content for on-campus and other purposes.

Naik told The PIE News that Skilled is providing a more flexible, responsive, and efficient option for universities with a range of services business models.

“People want something that is responsive to their circumstances, and institutions differ according to their investment appetite or the level of control that they want or the readiness of their internal teams.

“So that is why we set up Skilled and we are grateful and proud to be making a bit of an impact,” he said.

With demand for online higher education having increased because of Covid-19, universities such as LSE have had to look to online delivery and blended learning models.

However, Naik explained that institutions were developing their capacity for online delivery before the pandemic.

“Universities have been delivering online offerings for over a decade – initially through free short courses and increasingly full-degrees, particularly at the postgraduate level,” he said.

Dilly Fung, pro-director for education at LSE said that while Covid-19 has changed the way that the institution delivers its teaching and learning, it is determined to ensure that students enjoy an “inspirational and supportive learning environment”.

“We are delighted to partner with Skilled Education to develop a range of undergraduate and postgraduate trailblazer courses which will enable us to develop our online provision and ensure that students can increasingly access the highest quality education, wherever they may be,” she said.

Naik told The PIE that when it comes to learning design, there is a focus on pedagogy, analytics and platforms.

He noted that while these areas were all important, Skilled is trying to be responsive to the particular needs of individuals.

“We are focussed on the people and not the technology when it comes to learning design and there are two groups of people that we try to support the most, firstly our academics and secondly our students.

“I think that people forget about both those constituents when they are thinking about great quality learning design,” he added.

To date, Skilled has been privately funded. Its team includes pedagogic experts, seasoned technologists and leading academics who have designed and delivered courses at the “most prestigious brands” including Harvard, Oxford and MIT.

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