Consortium of top-tier US universities to offer online, credit-bearing courses

November 20, 2012

10 top-tier universities in the US have formed a consortium to offer fully online, credit-bearing undergraduate courses through a partnership with 2U, an education-technology company. 2U's chief executive says any students enrolled at an "undergraduate experience anywhere in the world" will be eligible to take the courses, the first of which are slated to make their debut in the fall. The 2U consortium's courses will not be massive open online courses, as students who enrol will have to pay. In return, students are promised a high-touch virtual experience that reaches, if not equals, the social and intellectual rigour of a typical course at any of 2U's partnering universities. Upon completion, students will receive the equivalent number of credits -- with their university's seal of approval. 2U and the institutions will share any revenue that comes from the project. The company plans to add "a handful" of partners prior to the formal launch next fall. But ultimately the extent of the group's growth, such as admissions standards and prices, will be the purview of a governing body with the consortium itself. Inside Higher Ed