How Ed-Tech is Disrupting University Entry and Women Leading Change


The pandemic has changed our way of life a lot and the education sector has been one of the hardest hit areas. Working in the education industry for over 15 years as an expert in education delivery and since 2018 as managing director of the ed-tech platform, OpenLearning, Cherie Diaz says the pandemic accelerated the need for education providers to develop business models that meet the needs of learners who increasingly focus on quality, support and outcomes.

As Diaz puts it, “When COVID hit the world, we knew the education industry would need support to go completely online, but some vendors would take the opportunity to really innovate and set the benchmark. for education in the future ”.

The ASX-listed OpenLearning platform oversees admissions, student support, teaching and learning for the UNSW Online Transition Program (TPO). Diaz and OpenLearning were tasked with reinventing UNSW’s successful bridging program – which has been running since 2007 – into a digital native online program using OpenLearning’s innovative technology stack in response to the pandemic.

Australia’s online education market is expected to grow 8.2% to $ 7.9 billion in 2021, according to the latest forecast from IBISWorld. Lifelong learning, which includes both unaccredited and accredited courses, accounts for 95%, or $ 7.5 billion, of the country’s online education market.

Diaz, who before joining OpenLearning oversaw the operational delivery of vocational and graduate colleges, says that “Online-first programs like the TPO are more than just a COVID solution. Rather, it is an opportunity for technology to deliver long-term benefits to learners and education providers by using the first-in-class digital and best-in-class online technology. ”

Janine H, from the Philippines, is an online graduate of the UNSW Transition Program.

Students feel the same

OpenLearning students say the same, recent OpenLearning graduate Janine from the Philippines reflected on her experience and said: “[online education] taught me a lot of great things – one of them is how to be a self-reflective and independent learner. I learned not only to interact with my peers, but with the course itself.

As a result of the four-month program, Janine now has guaranteed entry into her first year of college at the University of New South Wales, one of the top 50 universities in the world.

Diaz says that programs like the TPO offer alternative pathways for students, adding, “These programs not only allow them to bridge the gap by meeting the entry requirements for their preferred undergraduate degree, but also help them to develop the skills of independent learning and team collaboration to thrive in college and beyond.

Ed-tech has a role to play at every step of a lifelong learning journey and Diaz says OpenLearning is proud to support a wide range of partners who support learners across this spectrum: Whether you are an international student interested in exploring what avenues the TPO can open for you, a working professional looking to enhance your skills through the range of short courses and micro-accreditations available through the OpenLearning Marketplace, or a As a training provider who needs a partner to meet your business strategy, the OpenLearning team will be there to help, ”she adds.

For more information on the OpenLearning program, click here.

To learn more about Women Love Tech on Continuing Education, go here.

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