Kaplan Open Learning Launches Joint Business and Management Award

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New course will lead to dual University of Essex degree and professional qualification from Institute of Leadership and Management.

By embedding practical training and development within our degree programme, we provide our students and their employers with valuable and sought-after skills and knowledge, and enhance the employability of those who obtain this award.

Kaplan Open Learning, the distance learning and online higher education college, has announced the launch of a Business and Management degree from University of Essex combined with an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) qualification.

The course, launched on 1 April, is aimed at current or aspiring managers or other leaders who are seeking to gain a degree to advance their careers and who will find it useful to obtain a professional qualification in management and leadership.

The online degree format offers far greater flexibility than traditional full-time and part-time degrees which require attendance on a campus, so students can pursue a degree without disrupting their work or family life. This creates an excellent opportunity for many of these working adults to gain higher education and professional qualifications who otherwise would not be able to do so.

The online course will offer multiple start dates throughout the year with a continuous 52-week academic calendar, and will allow students to study wherever they have access to the internet. Scheduled online classes connect staff and students through both live audio and chat rooms to encourage active discussion and interactive learning in real time. Students can contact their own dedicated student support adviser and tutors outside regular class hours.

A Business & Management Foundation degree will be awarded by the University of Essex with a third year progression route that can be taken leading to the award of a BA (Hons) in Business & Management by the University. The Leadership and Management qualification from the Institute of Leadership & Management provides a nationally recognised standard of managerial ability.

Alan Jenkins, Managing Director of Kaplan Open Learning, said: "We have developed this joint higher education degree and professional qualification to respond to the feedback we consistently receive from employers throughout the UK. Not only do they want their managers to be well-educated, but they put a premium on hard-to-find professional skills in leadership and management.

"By embedding practical training and development within our degree programme, we provide our students and their employers with valuable and sought-after skills and knowledge, and enhance the employability of those who obtain this award."

The introduction of Kaplan Open Learning's online dual Business and Management award follows the successful launches of its Financial Services, Business & Management and Criminal Justice programmes, also entirely online and running all year long. The courses have attracted primarily, but not exclusively, working adults without degrees.

The partnership between Kaplan and Essex combines Kaplan's global reputation as a provider of education and training for the past 72 years with the University of Essex's excellent academic standing and reputation for high-quality research and teaching excellence. Kaplan Open Learning benefits from the expertise Kaplan has gained in running US-based Kaplan University, which currently has an online enrolment of 60,400 students.

About Kaplan Inc.     
Kaplan, Inc. is a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, please visit http://www.kaplan.com.

About Kaplan Open Learning
Kaplan Open Learning was launched in 2007 by global education and training company Kaplan and the University of Essex and offers degree courses entirely online.

About the University of Essex
The University of Essex is one of the UK's leading academic institutions, consistently ranking among the top 12 universities in the country for the quality of its research and teaching. Founded in 1964, it has more than 9,000 students drawn from around 130 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.essex.ac.uk.

About the Institute of Leadership and Management
The ILM is the UK's largest awarding body in the field of leadership and management qualifications and has 20,000 members across the country.

For more information, please contact:
Elizabeth Hess, Kaplan Open Learning
+ 020 7645 8968

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