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University of California Online Lacks Enrollments

Last year, University of California (UC) Online introduced 14 new online courses with the intention of attracting large numbers of non-UC student enrollments. While UC Online has attracted approximately 1,700 UC students, according to SFGate (San Francisco), only one non-UC student has registered at UC Online, enrolling in a single course.

One major challenge faced by UC Online was the timing of their launch, which was competing against the hype surrounding Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). In contrast to UC Online, millions of students worldwide have signed up to take online courses for free with MOOC providers such as Udacity and Coursera.

However, unlike what MOOCs offer, UC Online developed elaborate online courses which are designed to allow for a more interactive learning experience for students. Depending on the class duration, the University expected to sell the courses to non-UC students for $1,400 – $2,400 each. According to SFGate, despite the strong efforts by the University to introduce quality online courses, UC Online has been losing money. Spending just under $5 million for marketing, UC Online may need to reevaluate their plans for the project as the institution is responsible for repaying their loan within the next seven years.

“It’s taking longer than we’d hoped,” Keith Williams, interim director of UC Online, told SFGate.