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Is online learning the future of tertiary education?

Busyness is a status symbol of the modern time, and with the continuous challenge that we all have of limited time available and ever pressing priorities, technology has come to the party with ways to assist us. Online learning offers flexibility to gain new skills and expertise to fulfil our potential in a supportive and cost effective way.

New Zealand’s ‘bricks and mortar’ institution has many merits, but in recent times it has been acknowledged that it faces significant challenges. Industry forecasts predict that 80 percent of New Zealand’s polytechnics will face losses within the next four years.

In light of what lies ahead, strategic partnerships underpinned by trust, credibility and integrity have never been more important, which is why eCampus NZ’s position is so sound. Its relationships with its highly respected partner institutions – Ara Institute of Canterbury, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, University College of Learning, Eastern Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic, Northtec and Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology – are at the centre of its success story.

eCampus NZ CEO, Pamela Simpson, is very in tune with the climate and appetite for learning that meets that needs of learners who want and need innovative education with flexibility at its core.

“A provider of applied vocational education needs to be involved, facilitating opportunities for learners, and taking a leadership role,” she explains.

“Globally there is a growing acknowledgement that intellectual and human capital is paramount, as well as the worldwide demand for well-educated workers, with many needing more flexibility than is currently on offer.

Considering how tertiary vocational education is taking shape, Pamela is equipping eCampus NZ with the mentality and the tools to meet evolving expectations. “Trends project for 2020 a focus on outcomes rather than credits, competency-based degrees, and do-it-yourself learners. The goal is for personalised learning experiences, with the value being co-created. The internet provides the architecture for participation and collaboration.”

eCampus NZ is a leader in building learning communities characterised by innovative pedagogy and technology that will improve their learning experience. “Online facilitators need to be well informed about the learner, with the aim of getting the learner to their end goal. We need to be the doorstep into the world of gamechanging learning.”

With trends focusing on flexibility, cost-effectiveness, do-it-yourself learning, and a more digitally interactive approach to courses, eCampus NZ is committed to rising to the occasion. On its radar are a number of initiatives that stand to further improve the personalised learning experience it strives to create for each of its students. These range from the development of self-paced learning tools to learning support packages that enhance and support the student experience.

Pamela says the objectives for New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics include the progression of initiatives that improve access to a wider range of learning opportunities, reduce cost, develop greater capability to monitor all aspect of performance, and improve outcomes for learning through more accessible support services and top quality learning courses.

“We need to create a market position that counters international competitors.”

As eCampus NZ continues to lead by example, watch this space!

Important information for new learners

eCampus NZ as a business unit of Open Polytechnic, is now part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

From 1 January 2023, eCampus NZ will no longer enrol new learners into study plans delivered on the eCampus NZ learning platform.

However, all courses/programmes will still be available for online study through Open Polytechnic - Te Pūkenga.

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