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Leading UK Distance Learning Provider, Resource Development International (RDI), Approved to Offer Degrees

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."

Founded in 1990, RDI currently offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses accredited by UK universities. Courses can be taken through leading online resources. Subjects include: business, management, finance, law, marketing, human resource management, health, tourism, computing, information systems, telecommunications, graphic design, health care and psychology.

With degree-awarding powers, RDI will next apply for university title so that it can offer its own programs under the brand of the new online university. New courses will be designed that continue to improve employment prospects for students and meet employers’ business needs.

As well as offering its own programs, RDI will continue to offer distance learning programs from its UK university partners and may expand this complementary provision. Students who are currently studying with RDI will not be affected by the changes and will continue with their existing programs.

“I would like to thank our UK university partners for their support during our 24-year journey, and particularly through the TDAP application phase,” Dr. Hallam added. “We will continue to work with them and are actively exploring the possibility of helping them to extend their own distance learning provision whilst also developing our own academic programs.”

About Capella Education Company

Founded in 1991, Capella Education Company is a leader in online education, primarily through our wholly owned subsidiary Capella University, a regionally accredited online university*. In addition, Capella Education Company offers online education through Resource Development International Ltd. (RDI), an independent provider of United Kingdom (UK) university distance learning qualifications; and owns Sophia, a first-of-its-kind social education platform that offers students many ways to learn by making credible academic content available to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Capella University (www.capella.edu) is a regionally accredited online university* that has built its reputation by providing quality online degree programs for working adults. About 70 percent of Capella students are currently enrolled in master's or doctoral degree programs in business, counseling, education, health administration, homeland security, human resource management, human services, information technology, nonprofit management and leadership, nursing, psychology, public administration, public health, public safety, and social work. Capella also offers bachelor's degree programs in business, information technology, nursing, psychology, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 143 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 21 certificate programs. Approximately 35,000 learners were enrolled as of Dec. 31, 2013. For more information about Capella Education Company, please visit http://www.capellaeducation.com. For more information about Capella University, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552).

*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org.

Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552), www.capella.edu.

About RDI

Founded in 1990, RDI is a leading independent provider of UK university distance learning qualifications. The typical RDI undergraduate degree student is 24 years old; ages across all courses range from 18 to over 75. More than 90 percent of students are in part or full-time employment. www.rdi.co.uk.

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