A statement from the University said it would offer an online MBA course early next year, with other programs to be announced in 2020. Pearson and the University will jointly develop, design and and deliver the courses.
Vice-Chancellor Peter Rajthen said: “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. 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."
A survey found online learners were attracted by the flexibility of online delivery, the accelerated program; and the ability to work and study at the same time.
The average age of Australian online students was 39 years. More than 57% worked full-time, 63% were trying online study for the first time, and 46% lived interstate or overseas.
“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,” Barnett said.
The University’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, which in turn support the key strategic priorities for South Australia. 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."