Resource Development International (RDI), a leading independent provider of United Kingdom (UK) university qualifications by distance learning, and a subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ:CPLA), has announced that it has been granted degree-awarding powers.
Taught degree-awarding powers (TDAP) are granted by the Privy Council, part of the UK government, following rigorous scrutiny by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education.
RDI, which is based in Coventry, England, has a 24-year history of pioneering online distance learning. It is now able to develop its own degree programs to meet the growing UK and international demand for its affordable, flexible learning model.
The organization now plans to apply for university title and then launch a new UK online distance learning university -- one of only a few dedicated distance learning universities in the UK. The new online university will build on RDI's success in exporting UK university education overseas by offering increased provision for international students, as well as meeting growing demand from UK students.
"This is the culmination of 24 years of work to develop RDI into an organization that complements the UK campus university sector by providing students with affordable and flexible study choices," said Dr. Philip Hallam, chief executive of RDI. "Achieving degree-awarding powers is the result of rigorous scrutiny by the UK's Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education and demonstrates that RDI has met the high standards it requires in the UK university sector. We are now entering an exciting new phase in which we will apply for university title and develop our own programs to meet growing UK and international demand for our provision."
"RDI offers the flexible learning opportunities that are vital to so many students," said UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts. "The UK government is keen to encourage greater competition and diversity in higher education provision, and it is right that institutions like RDI, that have met the rigorous standards required, should be granted the power to award their own degrees."