AUSTIN (AP) – Governor Rick Perry has ordered the creation of a new collaborative online university.

Perry signed an executive order Wednesday that initiates the Western Governors University Texas, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Western Governors University. The WGU was founded in 1997 by 19 governors, including former Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Perry’s order instructs state agencies to cooperate in establishment of WGU Texas. Perry says the online school will provide an affordable, flexible way for “Texans to fulfill their potential and contribute their talents for years and decades to come, without any need for state funding.”

WGU spokeswoman Joan Mitchell says the collaboration will enhance accessibility for Texas students.

The online university mainly serves working adults and offers degrees in business, information technology, education and the health professions.

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