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UNext.com and the Open University Business School announce joint Online learning initiative

UNext.com, a leading online education company, and The Open University, the United Kingdom's largest academic institution and an international leader in distance learning for more than 30 years, today announced an initiative as the first stage of a potentially broader long-term relationship. During this first stage, UNext and OUBS will collaborate in a yearlong pilot project to offer UNext online courses to students and alumni of the Open University Business School (OUBS), and to develop innovative new courses together.

UNext will use its expertise in learning arts and technology to offer online professional development courses to the Open University's students and to its 8,500 MBA graduates around the world.

The first course to be offered is 'Get the Net', created by experts at Cardean University, UNext's first learning community and wholly owned subsidiary. 'Get the Net,' a Cardean 'Quantum' course suite of five, two-hour online courses introduces the elements of e-commerce and explains the basic structure of the Internet revolution. It does so by developing the fundamental economic issues in e-commerce and provides the learner with active 'learning-by-doing' activities that teach these concepts while simultaneously showing the learner how to use and work on the Internet. Get the Net shows how the Internet is changing business and does so by connecting the Internet revolution to traditional business methods and practices.

UNext and the OUBS also have agreed to collaborate in online course creation. OUBS faculty with established expertise in high quality distance learning will combine with UNext's experts in cognition, computer interface engineering, Internet delivery and instructional design to create an online course to be offered to students enrolled either at OUBS or Cardean. The first will be a development of part of the OUBS's leading edge MBA course Managing Knowledge, studied by more than 1600 students around the world this year. Managing Knowledge has made a major contribution to defining the field of knowledge management, and provides conceptual, practical and critical perspectives for OUBS MBA students who are also practicing managers.

UNext Vice President of Academic Affairs and Continuing Education Geoff Cox says UNext is eager to work with one of the world's most respected distance learning institutions. 'The Open University has a 30-year track record of educating millions of students,' says Cox. 'We hope to enhance OUBS' superior course offerings with our innovative online educational experiences.'

UNext continues to develop online business education and training courses through its higher education subsidiary, Cardean University. Cardean courses are developed in association with The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Columbia Business School, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and The London School of Economics and Political Science, which are members of its academic consortium.

Open University Business School Dean Roland Kaye says:

'We see this as an exciting opportunity to explore how we can build on the strengths of two organizations committed to the large scale delivery of high quality learning in a global context.'


Notes for editors

  • UNext.com is a privately held company dedicated to the development and delivery of business education and training via the Internet. The company incorporates advancements in cognitive science and technology to provide individuals and corporations with the resources, abilities, and skills to build human capital. UNext collaborates with Columbia Business School, Stanford University, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to bring world-class education to the global marketplace through its online academic institution, Cardean University. Cardean is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council and is authorized to grant degrees by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

    For more information, visit www.unext.com
  • The Open University Business School (OUBS) is one of Europe's leading business schools and the leading provider of supported distance learning management development training. Since its inception in 1983, more than 120,000 managers have studied an OUBS course at the Certificate, Diploma or MBA level. Currently the OUBS operates in more than 30 countries and has 25,000 students.
  • THE OUBS MBA program has been accredited by AMBA (the Association of MBAs) since 1984 and has recently been awarded the prestigious European quality accreditation (EQUIS) from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), only the eighth UK school to pass the rigorous assessment process. The school is based at the Open University's Milton Keynes headquarters in Buckinghamshire. Its World Wide Web site can be found at: http://oubs.open.ac.uk
  • The Open University was established by Royal Charter in 1969. Since that date more than two million students have studied its courses. The Open University currently has 180,000 students, 100 thousand of whom are either studying online, or use online services to communicate with tutors and other students. The Open University was recently ranked 10th among the 98 UK universities for excellence in teaching quality.

Contact details

UNext - Jennifer Winick Karras 847/405-5019, or email Karras@Unext.com|
OU Media Relations - Fiona Leslie 01908-653256, or email F.M.Leslie@open.ac.uk|

10 January 2001