Queen Mary University of London stops several online courses

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Queen Mary University of London has stopped accepting new students onto their Queen Mary Online courses, delivered in partnership with CEG digital, with ongoing courses stopping in January 2027.

The UK Russell Group University announced the changes in an email sent at the end of May to students currently studying the courses on the program. The Queen Mary Online website also states that recruitment for “our online courses has closed”.

Four postgraduate degrees were offered by Queen Mary Online, as well as postgraduate certificates and diplomas.

While most currently studying are expected to finish their courses by the stipulated 2027 date without issue, in the email to students, Queen Mary Online acknowledged that some students with significantly altered study plans could be impacted.

Queen Mary Online stressed that for any students affected, they would explore all options to allow students to successfully complete their programs.

The specific courses were delivered for Queen Mary by CEG Digital, part of the Cambridge Education Group.The Queen Mary Online courses are distinct from other online courses delivered by Queen Mary directly, not in partnership with CEG Digital – those run independently will continue to be delivered.

Popular with international students, the Queen Mary Online website boasts the university’s “firmly international” outlook. The courses provided an opportunity for foreign students to gain a postgraduate degree from a UK university without the costs associated with living in and studying in person at a UK university.

Unlike other online courses at the institution, the Queen Mary Online course fees were fixed at the same price for both UK and international students.

Jun, an international student who studied an MA at Queen Mary Online, enjoyed her time on the course. She had always wanted to study at a UK university, and Queen Mary Online provided the “perfect” opportunity, she said.

“I feel puzzled since they gave no reason for stopping it… UK universities are very well known for their distance learning programs and it is rather odd that QM would stop,” she continued.

Abir Ahmed Chowdhury, who works in international development in Bangladesh, also noted he had a good experience at Queen Mary Online, having studied an MA International Relations from 2018-2020.

“I think it’s brought a lot of benefits… I have a Masters degree from a foreign university that has such a high reputation,” said Chowdhury.

He added that financially it was a good decision, explaining that he was able to pay the financial costs while working – which wouldn’t have been possible if he went to the UK to study in person – but called the axing of the QMO courses a “big loss”.

“I think it’s a big shame… because a lot of people for personal reasons can’t go abroad… for them not having the opportunity to do so at such a great university like Queen Mary, I think it’s a big loss”.

Queen Mary Online originated in 2016 when the university partnered with CEG Digital to deliver online masters. Rebecca Lingwood, vice-principal of Student Experience, Teaching and Learning at QMUL then stated that the “strategic partnership with CEG Digital is key to supporting our objectives to expand our educational offering”.

Online education is also featured as part of Queen Mary’s Vision 2030, the long-term strategy for the university launched in 2019 ; the university proposed that “everyone who has the potential is able to access a Queen Mary education without necessarily coming to London.” This was planned through “significant investment in postgraduate online learning”.

In the announcement, Queen Mary stated it was a “commitment to expanding learning opportunities over the long term”. However, Queen Mary Online has faced difficulties.

I think it’s a big shame… because a lot of people for personal reasons can’t go abroad

Abir Ahmed Chowdhury, student

When the Queen Mary-CEG partnership was announced in 2016 the university announced the first four programs. A year later in September 2017, the first program was launched, an MA in International Relations; an LLM International Dispute Resolution started shortly after in May 2018, followed by an MSc Global Public Health in September 2018 and finally an MA International Public Policy in May 2019.

Since the the launch of the latter, no other courses have been successfully launched.

Gideon Shimshon, who ran the Queen Mary Online initiative in his directorate role, left in April 2022 – and the institution did not hire a replacement, with the position ceasing to exist.

When approached for comment, a representative of Queen Mary told The PIE News: “Queen Mary continues to increase its number of courses and currently delivers over 50 online degree programmes across a range of subject areas, only four of which are delivered in partnership with CEG.

“The end of this particular partnership, based on mutual agreement, has no bearing on Queen Mary’s continuing increase in online programmes of study as part of our diverse and wide-ranging education portfolio,” the representative said.

Brendan Webb, CEO commercial of CEG stated in the announcement that it was “supporting Queen Mary as it explores new possibilities” for online learning provisions.

“We are… ensuring continuity of service for current students. We wish them well with their next phase and we continue our collaboration with the University in other areas,” he said.

Queen Mary recently saw success in its non-online work, winning the Best Research Collaboration in London and Outstanding Contribution to Student Employability prizes at the inaugural London Higher Awards.

The post Queen Mary University of London stops several online courses appeared first on The PIE News.

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