University of Arizona to acquire Ashford University
University of Arizona is set to acquire private provider Ashford University to expand its online education provision.
By absorbing the fully online Ashford University, it is hoped the online University of Arizona Global Campus will be able to reach a bigger audience and student base using Ashford’s digital infrastructure.
Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), and the University board is presently managed by for-profit education services company Zovio.
Zovio is reported to have signed the agreement, which includes the purchase of Ashford University’s assets by the University of Arizona.
Robert C Robbins, President of University of Arizona, said: “As students look for new avenues to attain higher education, the accessibility and innovative approach of University of Arizona Global Campus will help a new generation of students find success.”
35,000 Ashford University students will continue studies under Arizona Global Campus
University of Arizona said in a statement that it “plans to take immediate steps to commence the final approval process with WSCUC, Ashford’s accreditor, which is needed to formally operate University of Arizona Global Campus.”
Approximately 35,000 students are currently enrolled in Ashford University programmes.
Arizona has confirmed that Ashford’s “faculty and approximately 35,000 students will continue coursework and degree programs with no interruptions or delays.”
Zovio will continue to tender their support with the provision of educational technology services as part of the agreement.
Ashford chair says Arizona Global Campus a “forward-thinking approach” to HE
Reflecting on the acquisition, Gregory Geoffrey, chair of the board of trustees of Ashford University, said: “University of Arizona Global Campus truly represents a forward-thinking approach to higher education.
“University of Arizona Global Campus will leverage developing technologies, new tools and the expertise of educators committed to rigorous academic programs to give students a truly enriching online educational experience.”
Andrew Clark, Founder of Zovio, said: “With over 16 years of industry experience, we understand the changing dynamics of higher education, as well as the challenges students and educators now face as the COVID-19 pandemic further alters the learning landscape.
“That is why we’re excited to partner with the University of Arizona in support of their vision to expand access and provide innovative learning solutions to help the University of Arizona meet students where they are.”
Emaido Affia is a Nigeria-based reporter for Global Education Times who covers stories from North America, MENA and Africa for the publication. Emaido is an experienced journalist and is also a lifestyle blogger in her free-time.