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Calling all Facebook addicts! The London School of Business and the University of Wales are attempting to change the face of the education system by offering a top-rated, exclusive degree online, and for free! Using Facebook, the popular social networking site, the universities have created a page in which students from varying locations may view lectures and materials, gain appropriate skills and knowledge, and pay at the end if they choose to sit for the final exam. While many students will likely not earn a formal degree through the program, the opportunity to become involved with a prestigious institution and gain knowledge and information is invaluable. The availability of advanced educational opportunities via a networking site may revolutionize how we approach education and postsecondary institutions.

The MBA program through the London School of Business and the University of Wales is the first of its kind, and offers new and exciting opportunities for unconventional MBA students. The institutions estimate the program will have over 500,000 users by year’s end. Why is this important? Access! This program has potential to include the following demographics:

  • Students who are unavailable to attend lectures and view coursework during working hours: these students may be employed or have family responsibilities that prevent them from being part of a traditional program, but want to pursue advanced education, or try out the flexibility of online classes.
  • Students who cannot afford advanced education: while student loans are available for the traditional programs, which may cost upwards of £49,000, or roughly $75,000, students may be unsure of their ability to pay loans back or hesitant to add to student loan debt. Through this program, individuals can complete a full MBA program without spending a dime. Some students may complete the final exam and receive certification, while others can simply take the course to obtain the knowledge and skills that will benefit their long-term employment opportunities and growth.
  • Students intimidated by higher education: for students who have not attended college or university, this program may provide a solid introduction to exactly what an advanced degree entails. Graduates who sit for the exam must have a four-year degree prior to completion, but not all students will follow through with the exam portion.
  • Students who want freedom in class selection: not all students want to complete a full MBA program, but instead will want to choose individual courses that fit their needs.
  • Students not living in London: proximity to the London School of Business may prevent some students from attending the program. However, this option provides high-level coursework from anywhere Facebook can be accessed.

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the world, and by offering advanced degree programs, they are adding new innovative platforms to its construct. It will be interesting to see what demographic the program reaches, and whether student trends remain the same. MBA programs have traditionally been seen as being exclusive for the privileged few, but through this format, that reputation may change. For those who are interested, follow this link:

http://www.facebook.com/LSBFGlobalMBA