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from the beginning

If you’re here, there is a good chance you’re looking for an online degree program to achieve your educational or (most likely) professional goals in life.

You’ve come to the right place.

U18 is a platform that collaborates with brick and mortar Universities and Institutions to offer Online Degree Programs both at the Graduate and Post Graduate level, to students and working professionals around the World.

Conceptualised in the year 2008 and launched in early 2009, U18 became the first provider of Online Degree Programs in India, and continues to be a pioneer in the Online Education space. Partnering with 3 Universities till date, U18 has helped more than 6000 students realise their potential via its Programs.

Students here come from all walks and spheres of life, from a Entrepreneur in India to a teacher in Sri Lanka, or a Pastor in South Africa! What’s common amongst them all is the will and determination to see their goals and aspirations to fruition.

If you’re similarly determined, rest assured, the staff and faculty at U18 and its partner Universities shall work tirelessly by your side to help you achieve these goals!

Welcome to U18, a whole new way of learning.





Lets Skype it, shall we Dr. ?

In a small but telling sign of things to come, and the increasing acceptability of ed tech in the hallowed portals of academia, the prestigious Delhi University recently decided to henceforth allow Ph.D candidates to appear for their viva via – SKYPE!
The news item in the Hindustan Times published 3rd of August 2015 was titled ‘Viva via Skype for DU’s PhD students’.
This small move shows that even the legacy institutions are slowly but surely adopting technology as a ways to reduce the needless hoop-jumping associated with education.
Congratulations DU, and welcome to the new way of education – our way!



Screenshot 2015-08-04 17.17.58


U18 Joins the Digital India Inititative

In early 2013, U18 had pioneered the launch of MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses in India with the launch of uGlobal, in partnership with IGNOU and DBU. uGlobal saw massive traction, with an enrolment of about 5000 students within weeks. As it was meant to be a pilot project, we closed admissions after reaching that 5K number, and promised ourselves that we’d be back with more.

That time has come now, and what better initiative than the ‘Digital India’ Program by Prime Minister Modi to align with. With the launch of ‘Digital India’ this week, we’re proud to announce the U18 OpenEd Initiative, which shall give away 5,00,000 Courses on 100% scholarships to students in India, over the next 2 years. By 2017, we should have enrolled students from all over the country into this program, with our Partner Universities certifying them, again, free of charge!

Watch this space for more information in the following weeks…

Explaining online exams

For Universities and Institutions around the world, its always been a challenge maintaining academic integrity when it comes to evaluating and examining hundreds and thousands of students enrolled in continuing education or distance education programs throughout the country, even overseas. But, with the advent of broadband internet, the omnipresent camera in todays devices, and online video technology, educational technology platforms like u18 have found a way to allow students from the farthest corners of the World to literally ‘appear’ for their course exams without moving from their offices or homes!

The Online – Web – Proctored – Examination System, or OWPES as U18 calls it, allows partner universities on the u18 platform to conduct exams delivered to students desktops anywhere in the world, with a proctoring team at u18 monitoring the examination via live video from the students end for the entire duration of the program, ensuring that no student takes liberties with the process. The entire session is also recorded, as is the screen activities, which are also monitored simultaneously. The proctoring team is well trained in invigilations, and can pickup tell tale signs of a student trying to cheat off a sheet of paper or a hidden book , and are authorized and equipped to shut down such exams immediately.

University officials have access to archives of proctoring session videos and transcripts for as much as upto 7 years, and can investigate any exam at any time, making this a much more secure examination system as compared to the traditional brick and mortar – pen paper exams conducted, where there are no recordings or video to validate later.

The technology platform has allowed Universities such as the Assam Don Bosco University, of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the University of Mysore, one of India;s oldest universities, to evaluate students from far corners of the world, while maintaining academic standards and due process.

This great new platform from u18 also allows students who has so far little or no access to courses and programs at these great universities now can enrol from anywhere in the world!

This Teacher’s Day, we’re going back to where it all started!

Teachers Day in India is celebrated in the honour of Shri Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the 2nd President of India, and a much loved teacher.

Dr.Radhakrishnan was a Professor of Philosophy in the University of Mysore, back in 1918.

Today, on Teachers Day, we’re delighted to announce a partnership between the prestigious University of Mysore and U18.

U18 is proud to have been chosen as UOM’s  exclusive continuing education platform partner!


Here is the press brief

September 3, 2014

University of Mysore launches Online Distance Education Programs in partnership with U18

The University of Mysore today announced the launch of its Online Distance Education Programs , with the Department of Outreach and Online Programs being inaugurated by Shri R V Despande, Minister for Higher Education and Tourism, Govt of Karnataka, in the presence of Shri V Sreenivas Prasad, Minister for Revenue and Mysore Dist Incharge, and Smt. Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, Wife of Late Shri Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar. The function was presided over by Prof K S Rangappa, Vice Chancellor , University of Mysore.

The University has collaborated with Online Education Platform provider U18 for the delivery of the Programs.

The U18 online education platform already has over 14,000 students from across 132 countries, studying various degree, diploma and certificate courses being offered by several Indian Universities.

The platform is designed to allow students to apply for , and study in , any of the offered courses online from any corner of the world. Classes and lectures may be attended via an internet connection , on a laptop or even a mobile or tablet. E-books available similarly are accessible to students

Students can discuss their doubts and queries with subject matter experts, as well as fellow students , using available discussion forums. Assessment and evaluation can similarly be done online itself, in a controlled and regulated fashion.

Programs launched for the Academic Year 2014-15 are the MBA, MCom, MCA , MIFM and MSc IT Degrees at the Post Graduate Level, and the BBM/BBA, BCA, BSc IT and BCom Degrees at the Undergraduate Level, along with several Diploma Programs.

The programs are priced economically, in order to make them affordable to all sections of the society. The B.Com program for instance, has a fee of Rs.6,000 per year, while the BBM has a fee of Rs. 10,000 per year. The MBA comes at a fee of Rs. 20,000 per year, and the MCA at a fee of Rs.12,000 per year.

The programs can be accessed at www.uni-mysore.in

Over the next few years, the University intends to significantly expand the number of Programs being offered online, introducing courses in arts, languages as well as culture, amongst other disciplines.

The University, established in 1916 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore, was the first university outside the domain of English administration in India, and the 6th as a whole. In 1969, it was the fifth University in India to introduce Correspondence Courses, at the suggestion of the Central Board of Education.

The University celebrates its centenary year in 2016, and it foray into online education is one important way in which it intends to mark this historic milestone.




Bidding adieu to KSOU

On the 16th of June, 2014, U18 completed 5 years of its partnership with Karnataka State Open University.

And now its time to move on.

Our collaboration with Karnataka State Open University, or KSOU,  was one of the first few for KSOU, as for us. Both of us benefitted both in terms of learning and the growth associated with it from this partnership.  The partnership saw the launch of 7 Programs, over these 5 years, and thousands of students enrolling from India as well as overseas.

KSOU VC Prof B A Viveka Rai & RSA at the MOU Signing Ceremony - 16th July 2009

KSOU VC Prof B A Viveka Rai & RSA at the MOU Signing Ceremony – 16th July 2009

It was during the early days of this partnership that we at U18 got an opportunity to organize our first overseas exams (pen and paper at that time), out of a University in Dubai and a Convention hall at the local Hilton in Northampton , UK!

These experiences  and many more like them have proven to be invaluable, in the way they’ve moulded U18’s present and future.

And now, its time to move on.

In an effort to improve the level of services we provide to our students, some time ago we took a decision to limit ourselves to working with only a select few Universities,  ones that are dedicated to the ‘Online’ mode , rather than trying to make Online Education and its delivery systems coexist with existing brick and mortar channels.

With that in mind, we shall not be offering any new enrolments in any of our KSOU certified Programs, but would of course continue to work with the University towards the delivery and teach out of the students still enrolled.

KSOU Exams being conducted at Zayed University, Dubai by U18

KSOU Exams being conducted at Zayed University, Dubai by U18


KSOU Exams being conducted at Zayed University, Dubai by U18

KSOU Exams being conducted at Zayed University, Dubai by U18

We look back to these five years with a quiet sense of satisfaction, one that comes from a job well done.


Why should one enroll for an Online Degree Program

A majority of prospective candidates polled select ‘to increase my knowledge’ as the topmost reason for enrolling into a U18 online degree program. A close second is the desire to acquire higher qualifications.

Career Advancement is third, albeit by a slim margin. The application of skills to their careers / profession ranks lowest by a wide margin.

If you were taking this survey, how would you rank your priorities? Take one now, by clicking here 

U18 Candidate Survey

uNext – An Online Education Technology Platform

U18 is and was always meant to be a Technology and Services Platform, providing Universities with both access to Technology as well as the Services required to run a successful Online Education Program.

Coming in as early as 2009, when one could at best depend upon foss (free and open source) solutions like moodle, Angel (since then acquired by Blackboard)  amongst a couple of others, OR commercials systems like Blackboard that’d set you back quite a few $$$’s per student per year,  meant that we needed to build our own systems and applications to provide a robust, seamless and customised to our requirements experience to the students and Universities.

Out of this necessity was born uNext, a suite of applications working together to provide a seamless experience to the online university student. An online application system integrated with the University’s ERP, and then further plugged into an LCMS, a social networking/collaboration forum, an ebook library, an online proctored testing platform and a backend that ensures all the housekeeping tasks happen as they’re supposed to, makes uNext a killer product.

Combined with this , a set of Android applications gives students access to all there features on their phones and tablets,  making a U18 program a truly ‘liberating’ experience.

2014-15 should see the uNext platform being offered publicly , to non-U18 partner Institutions. Watch this space for more.


moocs and their like

Much has been made of MOOC’s or Massively Open Online Courses, and the recent successes of Coursera and Udacity , amongst others. With students enrolling in the hundreds of thousands for Courses like ‘Artificial Intelligence 101’ and millions of Private Equity and or University Endowment  $$’s being committed to this ‘future-of-the-University’, it is understandable that the pioneers of this model would be facing an immense amount of pressure to deliver.

All the more reason that FastCompany’s recent article on Udacity’s founder and Stanford Professor , Sebastian Thrun , comes as no surprise.

In the aftermath of a failed experiment at providing San Jose State University  credit to Udacity students  for certain courses,  Udacity has pivoted its business model, and intends to now target Corporate sponsored diplomas and trainings instead. The article mentions a Georgia Tech Doiploma for AT&T employees, paid for by AT&T, in the hopes of “getting access to a new pool of well-trained engineers”.

Its important to note that the United States views MOOC’s or indeed the entire higher ed ‘challenge’ differently form the developing / under developed world. For them, its primarily a cost problem. Tuition fees are high enough to put most students into debt for several years after they Graduate. MOOC’s seemed to offer a solution, delivering high quality courses and content at free or ‘next to free’ price points.

Countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the rest of South East Asia and  much of Africa on the other hand, have  a demand and supply problem. We simply don’t have enough Colleges and Universities (that meet a certain benchmark of quality) to educate our youth.

Affordability is lesser of an issue than availability and accessibility.   Hopefully, the coming few years will see that improve.


P.S U18 is proud to run its own MOOC, uglobal.org , providing free certificate programs from its Partner Universities , including Don Bosco University and IGNOU . With upwards of 3000 students in its first few months,  uGlobal is firmly on its way to becoming the largest initiative of its kind in this part of the World.