Newswise — The University of Adelaide will educate thousands of additional students online over the next five years, thanks to a new partnership with the world’s leading learning company, Pearson.
Officially launched today, the new partnership represents a major initiative in online education for the University of Adelaide.
The five-year partnership will see the delivery of a suite of educational programs, attracting several thousand online learners by the University’s 150th year in 2024.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said the partnership with Pearson opens up new opportunities to provide the University of Adelaide’s world-class education to a wider range of students.
“From our earliest days, the University of Adelaide has valued excellence and inclusion. Our new strategic plan, Future Making, has now challenged the University to provide an innovative, 21st century education to a growing community of learners,” Professor Rathjen said.
“We are excited to be partnering with Pearson on this important step forward.
“Our ‘online campus’ does not replace the University of Adelaide’s rich campus experience, but augments it by drawing in new students who might otherwise not have studied here. This will broaden the reach of a University of Adelaide education, especially in those areas in which we excel, and will position our University as a leader in modern learning,” he said.
Pearson Asia-Pacific Managing Director David Barnett said: “Pearson is delighted to be partnering with such an established and highly regarded institution as the University of Adelaide, to provide a high-quality online education to new students.”
The five-year partnership will see Pearson and the University collaborate on program design, development and delivery. Academic oversight, content and expertise will be provided by the University. Mr Barnett said Pearson is an experienced provider adept at supporting online students.
“Given the unique characteristics of these learners, the programs and services that support students from their initial inquiry through to their successful completion will be designed to meet their specific needs, while maintaining a distinctively ‘Adelaidean’ feel,” he said.
Online classes have already begun for the University’s new Graduate Diploma in Data Science, while the new Graduate Diploma in Psychology starts on 28 October. An online MBA will also be offered by the University of Adelaide from early 2020, with other programs to be announced in the new year.
Pearson’s research has found the main reasons online learners choose this mode of study are: the flexibility of online delivery; the accelerated nature of the program; and the ability to work and study at the same time.
Pearson has also found that the average age of Australian online students is 39 years. More than 57% work full-time, 63% are trying online study for the first time, and 46% live interstate or overseas.
The University of Adelaide’s Pro Vice-Chancellor – Student Learning, Professor Philippa Levy, said: “While for many students a campus-based university experience is just as relevant today as ever, it is recognised that there is also a widespread need for online education, which is a quite different model.
“Over the coming years, our suite of online programs will ensure that the University further embraces a diversity of students – across age groups, distance, and regardless of their work or family commitments.
“Our portfolio of online programs over the next five years will align with the University of Adelaide’s industry engagement priorities. This will help to ensure the University of Adelaide is contributing strongly to upskilling and reskilling the current workforce, providing thousands of people with the opportunity to access a world-class education of special relevance to the future needs of our society.
“A perfect example of a program that feeds directly into the new world of work is our new Graduate Diploma in Data Science. All aspects of our lives are being reshaped by data, which is crossing into every industry imaginable. Knowing how to use data has rapidly become a highly valued skill that can be applied in any workplace,” Professor Levy said.
The new partnership between the University of Adelaide and Pearson has been launched officially today by the South Australian Minister for Education, the Hon. John Gardner.
“It is fantastic to see this partnership between the University of Adelaide and Pearson supporting the increase in online education offerings available to students,” Minister Gardner said.
“It is critical that we are doing everything we can to ensure that as broad a section of our community as possible can access education at all levels.
“The increased flexibility of online education pathways helps make ongoing learning more accessible for those who might otherwise not undertake study,” he said.
Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 24,000 employees in more than 70 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. Pearson provides learning materials, technologies, assessments and services to teachers and students in order to help people everywhere aim higher and fulfil their true potential. www.pearson.com
About the University of Adelaide
The University of Adelaide is a world-class research and teaching institution, centred on discovering new knowledge, pursuing innovation and preparing the educated leaders of tomorrow. Proudly ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, the University of Adelaide has over 100 Rhodes Scholars among its distinguished alumni and is associated with five Nobel Laureates. The University of Adelaide attracts academic staff who are global leaders in their fields, along with the best and brightest students. www.adelaide.edu.au
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