LANHAM, Md. – September 11, 2019 – 2U, Inc. a global leader in education technology, today announced an unprecedented new Framework for Transparency in the online program management (“OPM”) industry. The framework will offer students, universities, and policymakers data on outcomes, quality, institutional independence, and more for the degree and non-degree offerings 2U powers. With the release of its framework, 2U becomes the first OPM to openly call for, and embrace, greater transparency.
“Our shared-success partnership model with universities fosters innovation and expands access to high-quality postsecondary education for students,” 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher “Chip” Paucek said. “Providing greater transparency around our partnerships is the right thing to do and will foster a more constructive dialogue about the value of OPMs. 2U recognizes and understands that with leadership comes responsibility, and we believe this new framework is an example of responsibility in action. We call upon other OPMs across the industry to join us in committing to greater transparency.”
The new framework is grounded in six core pillars: University Oversight & Accountability; Marketplace Openness; Access; Affordability; Quality; and Outcomes.
- University Oversight & Accountability: We value and respect the institutional independence of our university partners. Disclosure of standard contractual terms governing the academic oversight and decision making authority of universities in OPM relationships will provide greater clarity on the independence and control of non-profit institutions.
- Marketplace Openness: Any OPM company partnering with a university—whether through a tuition revenue share or fee-for-service contract—should publicly disclose the existence and nature of its university relationships.
- Access: Our online degree and non-degree offerings create flexibility and access by allowing adult learners to pursue post-secondary education without needing to quit their jobs or uproot their lives and families. The OPM industry should disclose aggregate percentages of enrolled students by gender, race, age, and geographic location as well as data on enrollment by active-duty military and veterans.
- Affordability: The rising cost of higher education is a serious and important societal issue. All stakeholders in the higher education community, including OPMs, have a responsibility to be part of the solution to this complex and growing challenge. The industry should be more transparent about tuition pricing of degree and non-degree offerings and their total investment scholarships.
- Quality: As brand steward to more than 70 world-class universities around the globe, 2U prioritizes quality in every program it powers. All OPMs need to report quality measures, including student satisfaction ratings, and where applicable, average hours required for in-person clinical or immersive work.
- Outcomes: Although the debate around the appropriate qualitative and quantitative measures for defining outcomes is complex and controversial—since individuals have their own motivation and goals for returning to graduate school—we believe there are some consensus benchmarks. All OPMs should disclose their outcomes measures, including average retention and graduation rates.
2U plans to release the inaugural Transparency Report in 2020.
About 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU)
Eliminating the back row in higher education is not just a metaphor–it’s our mission. For more than a decade, 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology, has been a trusted partner and brand steward of great universities. We build, deliver, and support more than 250 digital and in-person educational offerings, including graduate degrees, professional certificates, Trilogy-powered boot camps, and GetSmarter short courses. Together with our partners, 2U has positively transformed the lives of more than 150,000 students and lifelong learners. To learn more, visit 2U.com. #NoBackRow
Charlotte Ward, 2U, Inc.