As many of the large free online learning platforms and MOOCs reverse their free offerings for paid options, Ireland-based Alison once again leads the way on free education and skills training, by reducing its premium services across the board, and introducing new ways for learners to access its free learning services.
Galway: Nov 20th, 2017: Alison announced today a series of developments which will make its services even more accessible across the world, not just in countries such as the United States and the UK, where it is already extremely popular, but across countries where its membership is just beginning to grow strongly. The changes made in Alison’s offering being announced are a result of direct feedback and suggestions from learners. The measures are as follows:
(i) Reduced the pricing of all our certification by 50% on average in developing countries, and about 20% in developed countries.
(ii) Eliminated Standard Shipping Costs globally. These costs will now be included in the final stated cost and will not be an extra charge.
(iii) Introduced a new certification offering in the form of a Digital Diploma download, a less expensive and quicker alternative to Alison’s highly popular Diploma offerings.
(iv) Launched a Refer A Friend programme which allows anyone to download a Free Digital Certificate once they introduce learners to Alison who successfully complete an Alison course.
Speaking about the dramatic reductions in its Certification pricing, CEO Mike Feerick stated “We are very conscious, both as a social enterprise, and as a leading global pioneer in the free learning revolution that there will be increasing pressure on new entrants in the marketplace to begin to charge more and more for what they provide. The challenge I set down for our team is to find innovative ways not only to provide new services for free, but where we do charge, for instance when people want to receive a physical Certificate, Diploma or Learning Path Certificate, that we keep these costs to a minimum. At 11m learners worldwide, and over 1.5m graduates of our courses, we are still only at the beginning of our journey to bring comprehensive free learning and skills training to the world. Our hope is of course that the reducing charges will encourage even more people to come and register online with Alison, or direct their friends, work colleagues or employees our way.”
The feedback from learners in particular highlighted too high relative costs of certification in countries such as India, where there is an almost insatiable interest in free online education, but the means to pay for any additional costs are simply not there. In countries like India, physical Certificates and Diplomas are of high importance as they are often brought to job interviews.
The Company also released today statistics relating to its pilot “Refer A Friend” programme, stating that over 5,000 people have introduced people known to them to the Alison free learning service over the past 6 weeks.