FT Knowledge and University of Michigan Business School Announce Groundbreaking Joint Venture for Online Executive Education

FT Knowledge and the University of Michigan Business School will pioneer a new category of online executive education through a joint venture announced today. FT Knowledge is a division of the international media company Pearson plc, whose holdings include the Financial Times, Penguin Books, and a major interest in The Economist. The University of Michigan Business School is rated by Business Week magazine as one of the two best providers of executive education in the world, and the School is the world's largest provider of university-based open-enrollment executive education courses.

The online courses, which will be jointly branded, will essentially create a new category of web-based management training. The approach will use technology to enable participation from anywhere in the world at any time but retains valuable components of traditional classroom learning such as interaction with highly qualified classmates and first-rate faculty. Admissions standards will pre-qualify participants and the number taking each course will be limited to 50 to facilitate interaction. This is expected to deliver higher value and a richer learning experience than is possible with online programs that deliver static content or are mass-distributed to large numbers of students.

The partnership is currently developing four courses based on successful on-campus executive programs. The first courses will be launched this summer and will be live throughout a two-month period during which time students proceed on their own schedules with regular interaction from faculty. Courses will primarily be marketed to companies and will be equivalent to a one-week, full-time, on-campus program. The initial offerings will be programs for which there is high demand on campus, Finance for Non-Financial Managers, Sales Management, Marketing for Non-Marketing Managers, and Basic Management.

The partnership is ground-breaking in both its approach and the combination of assets. The University of Michigan Business School is the first top American business school to partner with a multi-media company. The parties contribute complementary capabilities to the venture:

FT Knowledge (FTK) is a proven partner in the provision of open learning in business for individuals and companies. FTK has many years experience in developing course content in a variety of media, and has an established infrastructure to deliver and market programs internationally. FT Knowledge, as part of Pearson, has access to intellectual property of the world's largest education publisher and a leading provider of international business and financial information in the Financial Times Group.

The University of Michigan Business School (UMBS) is consistently rated among the best in its field by educators, students, and corporate professionals, including being rated the #2 executive education provider and the #4 MBA program by Business Week magazine. In a Business Week poll of corporate executives, UMBS was ranked the most innovative business school. UMBS's executive education arm is the worldwide market share leader in university-based open enrollment programs, and is known for combining the cutting-edge knowledge of a major research institution with practical applications that directly improve the effectiveness of individuals and organizations. UMBS was the first top business school to have a technology-based management education program with its Global MBA, which began in Hong Kong in 1991.

`This is a wonderful opportunity to underpin our leading position in the multi-billion dollar global market for executive education, combining Michigan's reputation and academic expertise with our international infrastructure and interactive open-learning skills,' said FTK chief executive officer Pippa Wicks. `These courses will use web technology to replicate the face-to-face interaction with faculty and fellow participants, which is such an important part of the campus-based courses.'

`Our stock-in-trade is combining unsurpassed intellectual capital and innovative teaching to produce superb results for our students,' said UMBS dean B. Joseph White. `In management development, quality matters enormously because only high-quality, sophisticated training produces first-rate know-how in students. FT Knowledge knows the value of quality and impact, and together we have the assets not only to create high quality and superb results for participants but also to take these products all over the world, to most everywhere they can make a difference.'


FT Knowledge
FT Knowledge (FTK) is Pearson's business and management education division. FTK offers degree and diploma programs in association with partners ranging from professional institutions such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing to leading US universities. FTK supplies custom training, assessment systems, and materials to major companies throughout the world. A number of institutions use FTK course material as the basis for their own degree programs and other courses. The New York Institute of Finance, part of FTK, provides specialized financial markets training to Wall Street and other financial centers. FTK operates from 12 offices in eight countries to support 25,000 students following programs in more than 140 countries. Pearson is committed to supporting the business in an aggressive growth strategy having identified management education and open learning as fast-growing markets.

University of Michigan Business School
The University of Michigan Business School (UMBS) is ranked by Business Week magazine as one of the two best providers of executive education in the world, and was rated in a BW survey of corporate executives as the most innovative business school. UMBS is known for a distinctive style of management education and development that combines across-the-board academic prowess with innovative curricula to produce highly effective business leaders. In 1991, UMBS became the first top U.S. business school to offer a technology-based management education program, the Global MBA. UMBS offers small and selective undergraduate, MBA, and Ph. D. programs in addition to being the largest university-based provider of open-enrollment executive education. The School has an unusually strong and deep network of partnerships with companies spanning five continents as part of its hands-on teaching style. Graduates of the School's degree programs are heavily recruited primarily in the areas of management consulting, finance, high technology, marketing, and manufacturing. The UMBS campus is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The School also offers programs in several major Asian cities, selected European locations, and Brazil.

For further information

Pearson plc


John Fallon


+44 (0)20 7411 2310


University of Michigan Business School


Keith Decie


+1 734 936-2150