New degree opportunities

Pearson, which owns the Edexcel exam board, Penguin, the Financial Times and other educational publishing and digital education businesses and is an FTSE 100 company, is to become a for-profit private higher education provider by opening Pearson College. This will be based in London and Manchester and will teach a business and enterprise BSc degree course validated by Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. Tuition fees will be £6,500 per year and there will be an option of an accelerated two-year course.

Last month Regent’s College in London gained its own degree-awarding powers and BPP University College, a for-profit university with its own degree-awarding powers, announced it was expanding into health-related degree courses. The California-based Coursera consortium, set up by academics at Stanford University, reported last week that since launching earlier this year it had signed up a million students around the world, including an estimated 40,000 students based in the UK. The move was predicted by the BBC in December 2010. A more recent BBC report can be found here.

There is an OU comment here.

In 2009 the OU partnered Pearson Plc with a part-time MBA. For this 30-month programme aimed at students in Norway, Sweden, India, Malaysia and Singapore, the OU retained the course’s intellectual property rights and controlled the distribution of its content. A weekly digest of financial and management news was supplied by the Pearson’s Financial Times. Students had free access to the FT ePaper, the interactive online version of the printed newspaper, the five-year archive and other international editions of the FT. They received ‘premium’ access to, the top tier subscription service, the exclusive news tracking tools and the FT Mobile News Reader. There were residential schools, named Global Exchange Events lasting three to five days each, in London (UK), Oslo (Norway), Dubai (the United Arab Emirates) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

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