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Plans for online education collaboration on hold for the fall

On May 20, 2013

The University's planned collaboration with a consortium of colleges and universities and online education company 2U has altered due to the fact that three of the original 10 institutions involved have dropped out of the partnership, according to a May 17 article from Inside Higher Ed.

Brandeis has also decided not to offer online courses this fall, due to the fact that the University has yet to sign a into a final agreement with 2U, according to Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Michaele Whelan.

"Brandeis has been thinking about it and investigating carefully all year long," said Whelan in an interview with the Justice.

"There were many universities that were considering it, so it's not as if there's some sudden change that some are doing it and some aren't ... [That's always been the case," Whelan said.

"We continue to be excited about 2U as one approach to on-line learning that we are interested in exploring," added Dean of Arts and Sciences Susan Birren in an email to the Justice.

"While we still have many details to work out at this point our expectation is that we will begin offering 2U courses in the Spring semester 2014 and we will begil to allow student sign up for other 2U courses at that time.

Regardless, the arrangement will not go forward as initially advertised when it was announced in the fall.

The schools that have backed out are Duke University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Rochester, citing concerns such as faculty frustration and limited course offerings.

Another of the original 10, Wake Forest University, is "on the fence" about their participation in 2U this fall, according to the Inside Higher Ed article.

When asked when or if the University would sign an agreement with 2U, Whelan said, "I think we have to continue to talk with faculty and others about it."

-Sam Mintz 

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