May 28, 2014 8:01 am

Whitman online MBA has its head in the cloud

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The Whitman school at Syracuse University is to become the second US business school to use the learning platform from 2U, the fledgling education technology company, to deliver its distance MBA programme. The Kenan-Flagler school at the University of North Carolina launched its MBA@UNC in partnership with 2U in 2011.

Whitman will migrate its existing iMBA from its in-house support system to 2U for the cohort that will begin the degree in 2015, says Amy McHale, assistant dean for masters programme at Syracuse. The programme will be renamed MBA@Syracuse.

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Ms McHale believes that the Whitman degree will not compete directly with that from Kenan-Flagler, as the Syracuse degree targets different students at a lower price point. There are “natural tiers in the market”, she says.

Syracuse is hoping the links with 2U will help the school increase the number of students on the programme and also extend the school’s geographical reach. Students on the iMBA are around 33 years old and live in the US.

Ms McHale says the marketing support from 2U as well as the sophistication of the cloud-based technology are two of the most attractive aspects of the agreement. The MBA@Syracuse programme will include live, weekly, face-to-face sessions taught by Whitman professors in small seminar-style classes, as well as videos, quizzes and other interactive multimedia.

In March this year 2U listed on Nasdaq.

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