The World-Class Oxford Saïd Business School Partners with GetSmarter

11/20/17

2U, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, launched a new partnership between its recently acquired wholly owned subsidiary GetSmarter and the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. GetSmarter is a leader in collaborating with universities to offer premium online short courses to working professionals.

Blockchain technology is a digital, decentralized ledger that helps to build trust and eliminate the need for third-party intermediaries in trust-less environments. The software permanently stores and distributes transactions, creating an immutable, auditable and tamper-proof digital trail. It has the potential to radically overhaul the nature of business, changing the job landscape and causing disruption across industries, which is why Saïd Business School, University of Oxford is launching a new digital blockchain strategy short course to prepare executives for the blockchain revolution. With a McKinsey report predicting that blockchain will "generate $80-$110 billion in impact" by 2021, the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme will offer a fundamental understanding of where blockchain can be used, how it works, and its structural and market implications.

Blockchain is at a tipping point where clarity is emerging about its potential use across multiple industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, energy and financial services. While there's excitement associated with the opportunities for new business models and technologies to be created, there is also a fear of job losses and massive industry disruption.

"With 80% of banks developing blockchains, and industries from law to aerospace exploring possibilities, the next 5 to 10 years will see massive disruption from blockchain adoption as jobs are automated and new industry applications are created," Associate Fellow at Oxford Saïd and Course Co-Convenor of the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme David Shrier said. "When the internet was born, people used it to email one another. Businesses like Amazon and Uber were inconceivable. Blockchain is a revolution of similar proportions, with undetermined potential, ramifications and opportunities."

The short course has been designed for senior executives and managers – as well as professionals with a keen interest in blockchain – to understand how blockchain will affect and shape business. It will provide them with an actionable strategy to respond to blockchain and incorporate it into their long-term planning.

"The application of the core technology behind bitcoin – blockchain – extends much further than the widely recognized cryptocurrencies," Associate Professor of Business Economics and Co-Convenor of the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Programme at Oxford Saïd Nir Vulkan said. "Blockchain has the potential not only to change how we transfer value, but could shift our systems of trade, identity, efficiency and governance across all sectors, radically transforming traditional approaches to management. What participants will understand from our course is what is on the horizon for their business and how to prepare for that."

Teppo Felin, Professor of Strategy at Oxford Saïd, will provide a framework for companies to capitalize on the blockchain opportunity. The short course will also feature insights from guest speakers such as Meltem Demirors, Director at the Digital Currency Group, and Professor Sandy Pentland, one of the world's leading data scientists, as well as a number of practicing entrepreneurs, technologists and financiers in the blockchain sector.

In addition to the insights and advice these global authorities will share in the short course through both video interviews and lectures, participants will learn about two strategy frameworks developed specifically for the short course: the Oxford Blockchain Strategy framework and the Oxford Blockchain Regulation framework. On successful completion of the short course, participants will receive a certificate of attendance from Saïd Business School and access to the Oxford Saïd Executive Education alumni network.

"Technology and the mobile revolution are rapidly transforming financial markets, institutions, and business models," Peter Moores Dean at Saïd Business School Peter Tufano said. "Drawing upon the expertise of leading academics and practitioners from Oxford Saïd and colleagues from across the University, our new digital programs, supported by our partner GetSmarter, will provide entrepreneurs and executives with the insights and knowledge necessary to navigate this changing landscape, and adapt and progress in their careers."

The short course will begin on February 28, 2017 with six modules over six weeks.

About Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Saïd Business School blends the best of new and old. Deeply embedded in an 800-year-old world-class University, Oxford Saïd strives to educate people for successful business careers. As a community, Oxford Saïd seeks to use business acumen and global networks to address long-horizon phenomena like demographic change, new technologies and natural resource scarcity. Saïd Business School is committed to delivering cutting-edge education and ground-breaking research that transforms individuals, organisations, business practice and society.

About GetSmarter

GetSmarter is an online education company collaborating with leading universities to present career-focused online short programmes. GetSmarter's high-touch, people-driven approach to online learning – centered around the importance of human support – has resulted in an aggregate completion rate consistently above 90% serving more than 48,000 participants over almost a decade.

About 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU)

2U partners with great colleges and universities to build what we believe is the world's best digital education. Our platform provides a comprehensive fusion of technology, services and data architecture to transform high-quality and rigorous campus-based universities into the best digital versions of themselves. 2U's No Back Row® approach allows qualified students and working professionals around the world to experience a first-rate university education and successful outcomes. To learn more, visit 2U.com.

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