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Sam Brenton, digital and distance learning innovator, joins University of London

Sam Brenton, a leading expert on digital learning and distance education has been appointed Director of Innovation and Educational Development by the University of London.

Sam Brenton
'I’m looking forward to furthering the University of London’s mission to provide high quality higher education to learners around the globe....'

With 19 years experience in higher education, including a number of firsts, Sam Brenton will take responsibility for innovation and programme development for the University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes.

He leaves his post as Director of Digital Learning at City's Business School to take up his new post on 3 September, with the University of London, which has 50,000 students in 180 countries studying through its distance and flexible learning programmes, as well as 1.4 million learners through its MOOCs programme on the Coursera online platform.

Sam Brenton, said he was delighted to be joining the University of London after four years as Director of Digital Learning, at City Business School, University of London.

Sam Brenton explained: “I’m looking forward to furthering the University of London’s mission to provide high quality higher education to learners around the globe, and to working with the member institutions of the University on existing and new partnerships and programmes.”

It’s a very exciting time in online and distance learning, as new technologies - and new understandings of how to utilise them - continue to develop.  As online and distance learning increasingly becomes a core part of the day-to-day business of the venerable higher education institutions with whom we collaborate, the University of London has the expertise, experience, reputation and scale to be able to continue to innovate and evolve to meet the needs of millions of people around the globe for whom high quality distance learning is a viable and attractive way to further their learning and realise their ambitions.

At City Business School, Sam Brenton was responsible for the strategy and development of digital learning, and launched City’s first fully online degree, an MSc in Global Finance. In his former role as Director of The Learning Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, he undertook a major transformation programme to improve the quality of staff teaching and student learning, as well as creating and developing Queen Mary’s highly regarded E-Learning team. He has also worked with online learning partnership firms in the private sector.

Sam Brenton, graduated with a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Cambridge, and gained an MSc in E-Learning from the University of East London, through work based learning.

Dr Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), University of London said: “We are delighted that Sam Brenton is joining us to deliver the very best in online and distance learning programmes for our students all over the world.”

The University of London continues to invest in programme development and innovation, in order to meet the rapidly changing needs of our students and their potential global employers. We also continue to innovate and deliver relevant programmes in order to retain our position as a world market-leader, dating back to 1858. Sam Brenton’s vast specialist experience, coupled with his business background, will prove invaluable and drive further innovation, which includes the forthcoming fully online BSc in Computer Science, due to go live in April 2019.

Notes to editors:

For further information contact:

Binda Rai: Head of External Relations, Media and PR (Worldwide)
University of London
Mobile: 07920 476 483
Landline: 0207 862 8545

About the University of London

The University of London was established in 1836 by Royal Charter. It is made up of 18 independent member institutions and nine research institutes. These institutions, including the LSE, UCL, King’s College London and the London Business School are recognised globally as world leaders in higher education.

The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of academic awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to 1858, when the University of London was awarded a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria.

In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to degrees to those who could not come to London to study.

150 years ago, in 1868, the University of London opened up ‘Special Examinations for Women’. Ten years later, the University began offering full degrees for women. In both instances, the University was the first in the UK to do so.

Today, students of the University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes, with some taking the award through self-study or through support from local teaching institutions.

The University’s distance and flexible learning provision is the world’s largest classroom, with 50,000 students worldwide, and over 1.4 million learners on the Coursera online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), bringing this global reach to 1.45 million people around the world, covering more than 190 countries.

The University of London currently has 21 single MOOC courses available through Coursera, as well as three specialisations of five to six MOOCs each. The University’s new online BSc in Computer Science is the first undergraduate degree to be offered through Coursera. For more information about the University of London’s online courses delivered through Coursera, please visit:

Further information about the University of London is available at: