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Ara learner earns while she learns

Research suggests that time – or a lack of it – is a key barrier to work-related education and training in New Zealand. With 67.6% of New Zealanders in the workforce, ensuring that learners can study on the job or alongside work is key to a high-performing education and training sector.

Fitting full-time, on-campus study around work and family can be a huge challenge.

However, thinking around the future of learning and work is evolving, and tertiary providers are increasingly focused on working with individual learners to help them take control of when, where, and how they learn.

Ara Institute of Canterbury learner, Maddison Boston, completed the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Marketing and Sales) on campus in 2020. Keen to broaden her business knowledge, she decided to continue studying, choosing Human Resources as her focus area.

This time, she enrolled in a mixture of on campus courses and courses delivered on eCampus NZ.

“This means I can work, study, and do other things I like doing, like going to the gym,” she said.

Having the ability to work as she studies is important to Maddison.

“Being able to learn on campus and online is helping me move forward with my savings goals,” she said.

Maddison loves learning on campus and makes good use of the facilities at Ara.

“It’s a cool classroom environment at Ara, and it’s nice to see tutors in person. I also have a ritual where I go to an on-campus café and work in the library before my 9 am lecture,” she said.

She has also enjoyed learning more independently online.

“It’s a completely different style of learning but it’s really good. All of the information and resources are there when you need them, and you can access them whenever you want,” said Maddison.

One of the things she enjoys most about studying on campus and online is being able to achieve education, personal and professional goals at the same time.

“It gives me good balance,” she said.

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