First student cohort of fully online, accredited qualifications become UJ graduates

About three years ago, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) ventured into a new territory by introducing fully online and accredited qualifications to professionals and students who opted to study from home. Now, approaching the end of 2020, and after an eventful journey, the first group of these students have acquired their qualifications, without setting foot on campus.

The University congratulates all its first fully online graduates. The students enrolled in programmes such as Master of Public Health (three graduates), Master of Education in ICT (two graduates) and the following Advanced Diplomas: Financial Markets (eighteen), Transportation Management (eight) and Logistics (three), with more graduations to emerge in the first half of 2021.

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“These first graduations of our fully online students put UJ at the forefront of online teaching and learning,” says Prof Rory Ryan, Executive Director: Academic Development and Support at UJ.

Prof Ryan has been leading the fully online programmes project since its inception. “It highlights our university’s energy and drive to offer quality education in a moving-with-the-times mode of delivery. Well done to our first graduates!” says Prof Ryan.

In these programmes, everything is done online: from the application, registration and onboarding process, to weekly lectures, access to resources, participation in activities, completion of assignments, continuous assessments and the final phase of completion and qualifying. Like the traditional on-campus qualifications, these qualifications are fully accredited and recognised. There are six start dates per year, with no travel required, and all the qualifications have the pay-per-module approach. This gives a working professional or first-time student a convenient and accelerated opportunity to complete a qualification at their own pace.

Similar to the qualifications offered on campus, anyone who complies with the basic requirements and can pay the fees, can apply for these online studies. The six start dates per year allow students six opportunities to apply and begin their studies within a specific year.

These qualifications range from the Bachelor of Commerce in International Accounting and the Bachelor of Human Resource Management, to Advanced Diplomas in Financial Markets, Transportation Management, Logistics, and People Performance Management. At the highest level, these 100% online qualifications include the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Bachelor of Education Honours in Education Leadership and Management (both with first intake in January 2021), and the following three already well-established Masters programmes: Master of Education in Educational Management, Master of Education in Information and Communication Technology and Master of Public Health.

The UJ fully online students who graduated this year were able to grow their careers while doing so on a part-time basis. With the COVID-19 lockdowns nationally and internationally, the enrolled students were able to complete their studies without interruptions.

These online qualifications are designed for individuals who prefer to study fully online while they are either at home or as working professionals who wish to grow their careers while tending to other responsibilities in their lives.

Looking ahead, Prof Ryan says, “We are looking forward to welcome even more students from our country, the whole of Africa and worldwide who would like to invest in these flexible, lifestyle accommodating and value-adding higher education opportunities.”

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