The first cohort of students of the U21Global MBA programme, which launched in 2003, graduated in January. About 140 students will graduate in the second batch. Helen Lange, dean of business management programmes at U21Global, said the second cohort of students was of a high quality; all students held middle to senior management positions. She said the programme had developed their managerial capability further and introduced them to a global educational environment, which had enabled them to hone their multicultural management skills. 'The development of such competencies, relevant and in demand in the ever developing knowledge economies, is in addition to the learning from theory and application contained in the high quality and engaging online content in all of U21Global's subjects,' Dr Lange said. Colin Campbell, vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham in Britain, one of U21Global's affiliated universities, said e-learning was rapidly gaining popularity in the knowledge-driven economy and would continue to be an important educational platform in the era of technology and globalisation. 'We will continue to work with U21Global to provide the latest technological developments to create a richer learning experience for the students,' he said. According to global market intelligence firm International Data Corp, by next year the e-learning market should more than double, rising to US$21 billion globally.