University of Adelaide Joins Online MBA Rush

The University of Adelaide will offer an online MBA from early next year after cementing a major new partnership with education company Pearson.

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. The university expects to have 4000 postgraduates studying online, representing at least one in 10 of its total student body by the time it reaches the milestone.

Adelaide University’s Professor Philippa Levy

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, 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.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said the partnership with Pearson  opened up new opportunities to provide the University of Adelaide’s world-class education to a wider range of students.

“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.