|GetSmarter Press Release|
UCT makes lifelong learning opportunities available to working professionals across Africa
|Issued by: GetSmarter|
[Cape Town, 1 September 2015]
UCT has announced that they will open applications for the 2016 presentation of their first two online postgraduate programmes, launched last year: The online UCT Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management and the online UCT Postgraduate Programme in Management in Marketing – both to be presented in partnership with GetSmarter, Africa's leading online education provider.
Addressing the need for skilled marketers and project managers in South Africa
These online, UCT postgraduate programmes are the answer to an increased demand for flexible, online tertiary education for working professionals who can't attend classes while maintaining a full-time career.
With 587 applications received for the very first presentation of the UCT Postgraduate Programme in Management in Marketing, and 1 160 applications received for the UCT Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management, it's clear that the interest in these programmes are huge.Providing access to the highest quality blended-mode business education
Across Africa is a strategic partnership between UCT's Faculty of Commerce and GetSmarter, providing access to the highest quality blended-mode business education.
"Having road-tested the Across Africa online education platform myself in teaching a class of 1 500 students, it is clear that students appreciate – and greatly benefit from – the opportunity to work on their own schedules, as well as to receive peer and instructor support virtually on-demand." - Across Africa Managing Director, Jacques Rousseau.
Accessing postgraduate programmes without a prior qualification
The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) course is designed to assess those students who do not have an undergraduate degree or equivalent, but whose work experience within their given industry is substantial.
In keeping with the university policy of promoting both access and redress, a strong need was identified in the faculty to design and implement an RPL system for both programmes. As a result, 24% of the current student body entered the first two programmes via RPL. RPL is a credible way to access postgraduate programmes without having studied an undergraduate qualification.
Rob Paddock, Chief of Education at GetSmarter, comments: "Now that the first semester of both programmes is complete, we can confidently report that the RPL students are faring as well, if not slightly better, than their non-RPL counterparts. This is a strong indication that the RPL application process, designed by UCT and delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter, is robust, and that the academic and coaching support offered in these online programmes is well suited for RPL students."
Student retention rates for online learning are impressive and powerful
Student retention rates are impressive, with 267 students commencing their studies on the Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management in January 2015 To date, 263 students remain active on GetSmarter's virtual learning environment. For the Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Marketing, 172 students remain active on the VLE.
Applications for online postgraduate programmes is on the rise
197 applications have already been received for the 2016 presentations, after only one month of applications being open. This is significant.
Applicants from all over Africa have shown immense interest in Africa's first ever online postgraduate programmes, proving that UCT and GetSmarter are paving the way for better education throughout Africa.
"We are thrilled to have closed the gap to top-tier education for students as far away as Tanzania and Mauritius. As the Across Africa initiative grows, we hope to extend that reach even further and welcome many more students from all over Africa, and even the rest of the world, onto our courses," comments Rob Paddock.
Breaking barriers to top-tier university access
There is an obvious need to expand the capacity and effectiveness of the higher education system in South Africa. However, most residential institutions have already reached their capacity, both in terms of physical premises and faculty capacity, to support full-time students.
In addition, there is an increasing demand for more flexible learning opportunities that allow lifelong learning to take place alongside other commitments such as family, work, sport and community engagement.
There is an increasing body of evidence which shows that, when designed and implemented well, online education can reach larger numbers of students and cater for more diverse needs, and does so in ways that maintain, or even improve, the quality of the students' learning experience.
For more information about the postgraduate programmes offered by UCT and GetSmarter, visit this Web site: