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London, September 12, 2018

A new online learning programme that helps international schools and universities address gaps in the teaching of vitally-important soft skills is launched today by EtonX, a subsidiary of Eton College.

The EtonX Future Skills Programme provides live online courses, devised by Eton College teachers in conjunction with EtonX’s digital content experts, that can be delivered to schools and students around the world through a custom-built virtual classroom.

The courses target an underlying lack of formal soft skills teaching for teenagers and young adults, with the aim of making their transition from education to employment smoother and more successful.

A succession of international reports and surveys have shown that secondary schools and universities are struggling to give young people the rounded skills and character attributes they need to thrive in today’s fast-changing workplace.

The McKinsey Global Institute reported last year that 60 per cent of employers surveyed believed that graduates were not adequately prepared for work1. Worries about the resilience of new employees are also widespread in business2, according to the CBI, which represents UK employers.

EtonX’s first six courses cover essential soft skills that are often overlooked in traditional, exam-focused academic curricula: Making An Impact, which focuses on the skills of active listening, influencing and assertiveness; Public Speaking; Verbal Communication; Writing Skills; Interview Skills; and CV Writing.

Soft skills are not just beneficial to a young person’s career prospects, however. The World Economic Forum has also identified a link to academic attainment, finding students with social and emotional learning skills outperform in academic results by as much as 11 percentage points on average3.

The EtonX Future Skills Programme combines real-world teaching insights from Eton College’s teachers with the EtonX team’s expertise in content development, technology and online pedagogy.

Its learning model reflects some of the key aspects of an Eton education – such as confidence, communication and collaborative skills.

Each course lasts seven weeks and is available to students outside the UK. Participants are organised into study groups of eight students, led by an EtonX tutor. Learning is through interactive self-study, live online weekly classes, and peer-to-peer interaction.

EtonX’s innovative virtual classroom makes powerful use of the latest video-streaming technology. High-quality video streaming enables participants to communicate effectively, learning new skills naturally and confidently in the online classroom.

Each course costs $399. As well as being marketed to schools and universities, the courses can be purchased directly by individual students, parents and employers. Two further courses, Entrepreneurship and Critical Thinking, will be available later this year.

The revenue generated by the courses will enable Eton College, which wholly owns EtonX, to expand its provision of means-tested bursaries for students. The College is already making rapid progress towards its target of a “needs blind” admissions policy, with approximately 20% of students now receiving assistance from its bursary programme and 79 students paying no fees at all.

Catherine Whitaker, CEO and Head of Learning at EtonX, explained: “Our Future Skills Programme helps teenagers to navigate a rapidly-changing world.  Students can start the process of gaining vital soft skills that often are not taught in a formal way at their school or can take many years to acquire through experience in later life.

“We are proud to be innovating in live online learning, capturing some of the key social and entrepreneurial skills of a world-class Eton College education in the form of exciting online courses that young people anywhere can now access and benefit from.”



About EtonX

EtonX is a leading online soft skills course provider based in London and a wholly-owned trading subsidiary of Eton College. Its unique Future Skills Programme combines real world teaching insights from Eton College teachers with content development, technology and online pedagogy expertise from EtonX. Its live online learning model, featuring virtual classrooms and high-quality content, enables students to learn and practise soft skills in exciting, sympathetic and safe environments.  EtonX Future Skills Programme’s first six courses – Making An Impact, Public Speaking, Verbal Communication, Writing Skills, Interview Skills and CV Writing – are available from September 2018.


Notes to editors

1 The McKinsey Global Institute’s report Technology, Jobs and the Future of Work in 2017 found that 60% of employers surveyed in nine countries said that new graduates were not adequately prepared for the world of work.

2A CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey in 2017 found that a majority (51%) of UK businesses are concerned by recruits’ analytical skills and almost as many (48%) worry about new employees’ resilience and self-regulation.

3 A 2016 World Economic Forum report cited an analysis of 213 reports on academic outcomes which found that students with soft skills training scored on average 11 percentile points higher than those without.  World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs, (2016)

Press enquiries:  Mark Walker, Burway PR, Tel: 07886 551703

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