Creating Pathways to Opportunity at Every Age and Stage
2U's Chief University Operations Officer reflects on how we’re increasing access to education and driving learner outcomes for everyone, everywhere.
This is the first in our series of leadership insights connected to our 2022 Transparency & Outcomes Report, which contextualize the importance of the data we've published and how we’re activating on our findings into the future.
As someone who has been lucky enough to work closely with learners and universities for over 15 years, I have personally witnessed a remarkable surge in the demand for online higher education. Today, more learners than ever before are seeking access to quality education through digital platforms. However, the majority of Americans still feel that they lack access to education that meets their needs and is available at a price point they can afford.
At 2U, we firmly believe in the importance of providing more equitable access to high-quality education. By partnering with esteemed institutions, we strive to offer all learners the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to thrive throughout their lives.
Recent data paints a clear picture of the urgency and significance of our work. By 2030, there will be over 120 million new learners worldwide seeking access to higher education. Within the United States, nearly three-quarters of current and prospective college students express that a college education holds equal or greater importance than it did two decades ago. However, only 23% believe that most or all Americans can access quality, affordable education.
To address this disparity, we have made significant strides in expanding access to education. For example, in 2022, diversity in the graduate degree programs we power exceeded the national average for many groups. This includes female (66%), Black or African American (19.8%), and Asian (10.2%) students.
At 2U, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing learners with the tools they need to succeed. For example, I’m excited by the recent launch of our Career Resource Center (CRC), a groundbreaking online hub designed to empower registered learners with valuable career resources and practical tools for navigating the rapidly evolving job market and progressing in their careers. It shows that we are investing in our learners and providing tools to help them drive toward their desired career goals. The CRC is available to all registered edX learners with insights across industries and careers and provides access to industry-specific resources to help our learners translate their skill development to job outcomes.
We believe that by offering more equitable access to high-quality education, we can unlock the doors to social mobility and economic security for countless individuals.
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