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Partner Spotlight

Watch: 3 University Leaders Explain Why Revenue-Sharing Partnerships are Vital to Increase Access and Innovation in Higher Ed

Written by 2U on Mar 23, 2023

Related content: Higher Education, University, Leadership, Strategic Partnerships, Digital Education

Watch our "Innovations in Online Learning" university partner panel at Investor Day

At 2U, we continue to be proud of our double bottom line values of financial sustainability and making a positive impact through high-quality outcomes. At our recent 2023 Investor Day event at Nasdaq’s NYC headquarters, several of our passionate leaders shared key insights into how we make our mission come alive for our partners and learners every day.

One of the day’s many highlights was our “Innovation in Online Learning” partner panel featuring leaders from three of 2U’s university partners: Caroline Levander, vice president for global and digital strategy at Rice University in Houston, TX; Todd Nicolet, vice provost for digital and lifelong learning at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and H. Rao Unnava, dean of the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis.

Moderated by Andrew Hermalyn, 2U’s president of partnerships, the panel discussed some of the most pressing issues facing higher education today, including their expert perspectives on the value of public-private partnerships and revenue sharing. Here are some top takeaways from the conversation:

On the value of public-private partnerships

Caroline Levander: “It takes a rare company to really understand how universities work. That is an implicit value-add of 2U in terms of partnership . . . versus fee-for-service. Having rare thought partners is infinitely valuable.”

Todd Nicolet: “The work we're doing in higher education these days, and in online higher education, is really difficult. We do need help from partners like 2U to help us navigate . . . a world that's changing faster than our systems are designed for.”

H. Rao Unnava: “I view 2U as one of our best ‘cloud’ partners because there are several things that I just cannot do as an educational institution. We have been able to execute them faster than what we can do on our own.”

On the benefits of revenue sharing

Caroline Levander: “You need to know there’s going to be impact. So I see revenue sharing as putting our feet to the fire of impact in a way that's not reducible to dollars and cents, but is really activating large-scale global change for good.”

Todd Nicolet: “We have the shared incentive to work together and actually create great efficiencies. If we switch to fee-for-service . . . the cost of education is going to go up. I'm really worried about that because we're all trying to make the cost of education go down so we can reach more people.”

H. Rao Unnava: “The revenue-share model—when implemented right, which I think [UC Davis and 2U] are doing—is where two people come together to make life better for the consumer. It's really helping us deliver what we think is some of the best education that we can.”

Watch the full video

Get our partners’ full take on these and other topics by watching the complete discussion.

Learn more about us.

At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help partners thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.