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2U announces its first online undergrad degree

Edtech provider 2U marked its entrance into the undergraduate degree market as it teamed up with the London School of Economics and Political Science to offer a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics.

The 36-month program with LSE will provide students with essential digital economy skills, which 2U says are in high demand. Photo: 2U

The program will able available on mobile devices from nearly anywhere in the world

However, following the release of the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings, 2U has said it has tempered enrolment and revenue expectations in response to an increase in competition online for students.

“Our bachelor’s degree offering will help prepare students across the globe for a new workforce reality”

The company will “moderate its grad program launch cadence” going forward, as it focuses on optimising the performance of existing programs, 2U co-founder and CEO, Chip Paucek, said.

However, Paucek indicated that the company will continue to sign new programs, and 2U’s competitive positioning remains “incredibly strong”.

With a strong focus on statistics, mathematics, and computing skills, the new 36-month program with LSE will provide students with essential digital economy skills necessary for industries faced with managing data-driven businesses, including healthcare, finance, and public policy, according to the online provider.

“We are thrilled to partner with the University of London and the LSE, two world-class institutions, on our first online undergraduate degree,” said Paucek.

“Data science and business analytics have become essential skills in today’s digital economy, and our bachelor’s degree offering will help prepare students across the globe for this new workforce reality.”

The University of London, of which LSE is an institutional member, is committed to delivering “relevant” programs for students and employers, said Craig O’Callaghan, director of operations and deputy chief executive, University of London Worldwide.

“We are pleased to be working with 2U to further extend our reach,” O’Callaghan noted.

“The BSc in Data Science and Business Analytics is highly relevant for today’s employers across all sectors, who now require their staff to routinely deal with data and analysis.

“This degree program equips them to meet these demands and ensures they are work-ready.”

The program, to be designed by LSE faculty, will able available on mobile devices from nearly anywhere in the world, according to 2U.

“This degree program is designed to respond to the modern challenges that arise from the availability of large and complex data in many areas of life,” said Irini Moustaki, program director, at the LSE.

“Employers, whether in the private or public sector, have strong – and unmet – demand for graduates who combine statistical and computing skills and are able to handle and develop models and algorithms in order to tackle real-world commercial or public policy problems in various disciplines.”

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