Online distance learning provider RDI has achieved university title

Resource Development International(RDI), a leading independent provider of UK university qualifications by distance learning, has becomeArden University, having received confirmation from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that it meets the criteria for university title.

Arden University will be the only specialist distance learning university to launch in the UK since The Open University was established 51 years ago.

RDI has changed its name through Companies House and will launch its first Arden University qualifications later this year. The Coventry-based distance learning specialist has a 25-year heritage of working successfully with UK university partners. Arden University will build on this experience to offer degree programmes designed to meet growing UK and international demand by employers and students for affordable, flexible learning.

Today’s announcement follows the granting of Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) in April 2014 by the Privy Council - a formal body of advisors to Her Majesty the Queen - following rigorous scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “I congratulateResource Development Internationalon achieving University Title status to become Arden University. This is a positive step in our effort to enhance the diversity of our world-class higher education sector, and I wish them well in their future delivery of specialist distance learning to students.”

RDI, a subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA), offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes accredited by UK universities with whom it has developed strong partnerships. RDI has been a significant exporter of UK Higher Education worldwide with around two-thirds of RDI’s current students based overseas and 90% studying whilst in employment.

As well as developing its own programmes through Arden University, RDI will also continue to offer distance learning courses from its UK university partners. Students who are currently studying with RDI will not be affected by the changes.

Dr Philip Hallam, Chief Executive of RDI, said: “For over a quarter of a century, we’ve worked incredibly hard to develop a credible Higher Education institution that complements the UK campus university sector. To receive confirmation that the Government recognises this work, and is confident that our academic standards, financial status, and governance structure meet the stringent criteria required for university title, is a fantastic achievement.

“The quality of UK university education is renowned the world over. With Arden University, we want to take on that mantle by ensuring that students, both in the UK and overseas, benefit from modern, accessible and flexible ways of learning that truly support their career ambition.”

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