The formation of UNSW Online, an institutionally-driven online learning initiative, will create greater access to world-class education and open new markets for the University.
UNSW is expanding its presence in online learning through the centrally-steered initiative UNSW Online.
Formed in December 2017, UNSW Online is the first corporate effort to consolidate and build upon the University’s portfolio of fully-online postgraduate programs.
“The 2025 Strategy calls for the increased integration of technology into our teaching and an increase in the number of students studying fully online,” said Liz Smith, Director of UNSW Online. “By aligning with 2025 and the UNSW Digital Education Vision, which aims to expand on existing strategies and provide a comprehensive approach to integrating technology into all aspects of the student learning experience, UNSW Online will create greater flexibility for prospective students and open the University to new markets.”
Postgraduate online learning is becoming increasingly attractive to mid-career professionals wanting to move into executive roles or new disciplines as they seek greater work-life balance. Between 2011 and 2015, there was a 25% increase in postgraduate education online and the trend continues to grow.
“The average postgraduate student is faced with many competing demands – full-time work, family commitments and personal issues,” said Liz. “A fully online mode of attendance provides greater flexibility and choice for students who are keen to further their learning but prefer to study remotely or cannot attend campus.”
The objectives of UNSW Online are not intended to impact traditional face-to-face studies and blended programs, but instead cast a wider net for recruitment of students who, for any reason, are unable to study on one of the UNSW campuses.
“Online is an extension to the current modes of study at the University,” Liz said. “We are planning on growing this portfolio to provide students with flexible ways to undertake a UNSW degree and offer the UNSW study experience to communities who previously would not have had access.”
The consolidation of online offerings at the University will also lead to benefits for staff, including providing a consistent approach to scaling up the offerings or creating new online programs.
“It’s an opportunity for all fully-online learning initiatives to have a central umbrella and brand, and to maximise on each other’s strengths, experiences and outputs, whether they’re already in place or in development,” Liz continued.
“Ultimately, it will accelerate our abilities to scale up and provide a consistent experience for all students who choose to study with us online.”
UNSW Online is strategically partnered with Keypath Education to market online study and deliver fully online programs. The first two online programs developed in partnership with Keypath Education – Master of Data Science and Master of Analytics – were launched to the public on 5 February 2019.