CASE STUDY FOCUSING ON ARDEN UNIVERSITY
Resource Development International (RDI) was founded in 1990 to provide world-wide support for long-distance university learners.
Over the past 25 years, thousands of students from over 150 countries have taken advantage of flexible on-line learning in HND courses, degrees, Master’s degrees or MBAs across a wide range of subjects from business and management to psychology provided by several universities including the University of Bradford, the University of Sunderland and Anglia Ruskin University.
RDI has recently been granted Taught Degree-Awarding Powers (TDAP) by the Privy Council, and university title by the Government, becoming a provider of higher education in its own right as Arden University.
Arden University will be launched in spring 2016 to become the city’s third university alongside Coventry University and the University of Warwick.
Over the next 12 months, Arden University will launch a whole range of new online programmes as well as ’flipped classroom’ or blended learning at two study centres in West and South London in September 2016, where students will combine online learning with two days per week of face-to-face interactive lessons.
Arden University offers four intakes per year, October, January, April and July and a UK undergraduate will currently pay £11,500 to study a full degree which is less than half of the cost of studying at a university campus.
Arden University and the CWLEP
Arden University has its headquarters on Brandon Lane, Coventry, where over 80 people are employed in student support, IT, finance, marketing, HR, administration and quality assurance functions. Additionally the university has a team of 100 online tutors based throughout the UK.
The organisation made its debut at the CWLEP’s Jobs, Apprenticeships and Skills Fair this year to make students in the area aware of the courses they have available which are ideal for those already working or who want greater flexibility to continue their education.
Dr Philip Hallam, Vice-Chancellor and CEO at Arden University, said: “We want young people leaving school to know all about the different choices available to them, whether that’s studying while starting a career or that there is an alternative to attending a traditional campus university.
“We offer an alternative university experience that young people and their parents may not be aware of, which can also significantly reduce fees and enhance career opportunities.
“We received very positive feedback from everyone we spoke to at the Jobs Fair. It was a great chance to talk to students and their parents about new opportunities to study a degree flexibly as we launch our new university.
“At Arden University, we are confident the support we give to students meets their needs and allows them to study successfully whether in the UK or overseas. Presently, in addition to the UK, we are particularly popular in the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, and Asia.”
Attending the LEP event has encouraged Arden University to attend other careers fairs and in 2016 you will find them at the careers fair at Coventry’s Sidney Stringer Academy.
Dr Hallam said: “As we develop our brand and products, school outreach work will become an important part of our activity and we want to talk to careers advisors and A-level teachers so that they are aware of our courses.
“We want to change the market to give people an alternative and we want people to consider a different route to higher education.
“Degrees can be studied over a longer period of time while people are travelling abroad or working – the majority of our learners already have full or part-time jobs but want to return to education to improve their career prospects.
“The flexibility we provide gives people options that are more cost-effective. When we launch Arden University formally next year, we won’t be competing for Coventry and Warwick University students, we want to complement what is already available and provide more choice for students and parents.”
CAPTION: From the left, Rachael Stewart (CWLEP), Dr Philip Hallam (Arden University) and Victoria Stakelum (Arden University)