Capella Education Company to divest Arden University

February 11, 2016

US-based Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA) today announced that it intends to sell its UK-based subsidiary Arden University, a specialist online distance learning university.

The announcement follows a decision by Capella Education Company (CEC) to focus its long-term strategy on opportunities in the non-degree market in the US and its successful FlexPath self-paced learning programme. Arden University (formerly RDI) is a leading provider of UK university distance learning qualifications to students in the UK and overseas.

Kevin Gilligan, Chairman and CEO of CEC said: “We are proud of how Arden University has aligned with our high standards for academic quality and student provision, and we believe it is well positioned in the UK market, having received Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) in 2014 and university title in 2015.

“However, we believe that focussing on our FlexPath programme and opportunities in the non-degree market in the US will create a higher return for our shareholders and best position us for sustained growth. We have therefore taken the decision to divest CEC of Arden University.

“We are committed to upholding Arden University’s high standards as we begin the process of finding a suitably qualified new owner. Any new owner for Arden University will need to uphold its independence and must demonstrate a strong track record of integrity, financial soundness and appropriate governance.”

Dr Philip Hallam, Vice Chancellor and CEO of Arden University, said: “Arden University has a proud track record of pioneering new ways of learning within UK higher education.

“With more than 25 years’ experience behind us and university title recently achieved, we are now entering an exciting new phase of development – a time when we can realise our full potential to offer students in the UK and overseas a flexible and affordable alternative to a campus-based university education.

“I will be working closely with CEC as we begin the process of seeking a new owner, to ensure that Arden University continues on the exciting path we have begun.”

About Arden University

  • Arden University is the new name for Resource Development International (RDI), a leading independent provider of UK university qualifications by distance learning.
  • RDI became Arden University in August 2015 having received confirmation from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that it meets the criteria for university title. RDI was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) in April 2014.
  • The Coventry-based distance learning specialist has a 25-year heritage of working successfully with UK university partners. Arden University will build on this experience to offer its own degree programmes, designed to meet growing UK and international demand by employers and students for affordable, flexible learning. The first Arden University degree course is an LLB (Hons) Qualifying Law Degree –launched in January 2016.
  • Arden University will also continue to offer distance learning courses from its UK university partners.

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 with almost 37,000 learners as of Sept. 30, 2015. In addition, Capella Education Company offers online education through Arden University, formerly called Resource Development International Ltd. (RDI) (, an independent provider of United Kingdom (UK) university distance learning qualifications. Capella Education Company also owns Sophia (, an innovative learning platform leveraging technology to support self-paced learning.
*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Media enquiries to:
Libby Howard (, tel. 0161 212 1611/ 07879 446277