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University of Exeter and Keypath Launch Digital Revolution in UK Higher Education

By Chris Williams
University of Exeter and Keypath to launch online programs

Today Keypath announces a new 10 year online program management partnership with The University of Exeter that will see the university provide a range of online master’s degrees to UK and international students.  

The partnership will initially see the creation of online MSc programmes in Finance & Management, International Business, and Marketing. The online courses will be provided by the University of Exeter’s Business School, consistently ranked in the top 1% of business schools worldwide.

Digital Revolution

A member of the elite Russell Group of twenty-four leading UK universities, The University of Exeter is the highest ranked university in the United Kingdom to launch a range of online master’s degrees for both the UK and international market. The move is part of a fast-changing HE landscape with prestigious universities such as Exeter embracing digital degrees, which are increasing global access to higher education.

The online courses will offer students all of the same quality materials, teaching and assessment that on-campus University of Exeter students receive, but will be delivered through high-quality technology and a network of academics and student advisers. The courses will be delivered over a two-year period and are designed to fit alongside work and family commitments.

Innovation in UK Higher Education

Universities UK estimates that international students are worth up to £26 billion to the British economy[1]. With the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, universities are looking to online degrees - and other innovative forms of delivery - as a way to increase student numbers and increase income.

The UK government is backing innovation in the higher education sector, and has already announced plans to introduce two year degrees in the UK. A higher education bill is expected to pass through Parliament and become law within the next few weeks.

Jo Johnson MP, Higher Education Minister, comments: “It is essential that courses are flexible and catered to fit around differing work and life demands. That is why it is fantastic to see partnerships such as the one between the University of Exeter and Keypath Education to deliver online degrees which enable students to work, earn and learn. Through our Higher Education and Research Bill we are giving universities further opportunities to introduce new flexible ways of learning that promote access to education and equip students with the skills required for the modern workplace. Our reforms, alongside this type of innovation, will help ensure our higher education sector retains its world class reputation for years to come.”  

Next Generation Online Degrees

The online programs will be designed, marketed and delivered in partnership with Keypath Education, a leading global specialist in online learning, which is already working with other universities in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Using detailed analytics and targeted support, Keypath markets to, recruits and retains students as well as designs the courses on behalf of the university partner. The model enables the university to enhance its brand, student numbers, teaching innovation and revenues via online experts, whilst maintaining complete academic control.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, comments: As our world becomes increasingly digital and international, we are embracing technology enhanced learning to deliver an internationally excellent education, which gives our talented students the ability to go on to make a difference in the world. Our online master’s students will have access to everything that makes our on-campus degrees internationally recognised for excellence, but in a flexible way that compliments their work and family commitments. This is an incredibly exciting moment for the University of Exeter and the UK higher education sector. Keypath Education has already proven to be an impressive partner and we are looking forward to collaborating with them further to develop and deliver exceptional online programs.”

Rajay Naik, CEO of Keypath Education (Europe), comments: “The University of Exeter will be one of the highest ranked universities in the world to launch a major suite of high-quality online degree programs. We are designing, marketing and delivering immersive online programs that bring Exeter’s exceptional student experience to learners wherever they are. Learners will increasingly be able to study with the UK’s finest institutions alongside their work and family commitments. This will transform access for students around the world, accelerate innovation in our universities and help to retain Britain’s position at the vanguard of global higher education.”  

Steve Fireng, Global CEO at Keypath Education, comments: “The UK is home to some of the world’s greatest universities and we are honoured to be working with one of the country’s leading institutions, the University of Exeter. This 10 year partnership is an important moment both for the UK and international higher education sectors, and I am delighted that it is Keypath Education who is leading the way in providing the next generation of online degrees in Europe.  Keypath is a truly global business and we look forward to working with other world class universities across the UK and Europe in the years ahead.”  

Keypath Education has recently confirmed that they will be announcing a further partnership with another highly-ranked UK university over the coming weeks and anticipate ‘a major inflexion point’ in the number of UK universities launching online degrees over the next year.

About the University of Exeter - www.exeter.ac.uk

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university that combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 21,000 students and is in the top one per cent of universities worldwide. Exeter is also ranked 9th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 and 11th in the Guardian University Guide 2017. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the University ranked 16th nationally, with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality. The online courses will be provided by the University of Exeter’s Business School, one of a select group of Schools to be accredited by EQUIS, the leading system of quality assessment, improvement and accreditation of Higher Education institutions in management and business administration worldwide. Exeter was named The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2015-16, in recognition of excellence in performance, education and research.  Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13. The University launched its flagship Living Systems Institute in 2016, a world-class, interdisciplinary research community that will revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This follows recent investments of more than £350 million worth of new facilities across its campuses in recent years; including landmark new student services centres - the Forum in Exeter and The Exchange on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, together with world-class new facilities for Biosciences, the Business School and the Environment and Sustainability Institute.

About the Russell Group – www.russellgroup.ac.uk

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. Members of the Russell Group include; University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; University of Cambridge; Cardiff University; Durham University; University of Edinburgh; University of Exeter; University of Glasgow; Imperial College London; King's College London; University of Leeds; University of Liverpool; London School of Economics & Political Science; University of Manchester; Newcastle University; University of Nottingham; University of Oxford; Queen Mary, University of London; Queen's University Belfast; University of Sheffield; University of Southampton; University College London; University of Warwick; University of York.

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