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UJ designs accessible quality higher online education

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) stays firmly committed to shifting the frontiers of teaching and learning through continuously introducing more innovative online capabilities in real-time, anywhere, anytime qualifications.

Towards the end of 2017, UJ launched four 100% online only master’s degree programmes. These first-of-its-kind online degrees are: the Master of Public Health, the Master of Public Management and Governance, the Master of Education Management, and the Master of Education in Information and Communication Technology. The latter attracted widespread interest, filling up within days after launching.

These Master’s programmes have successfully run over the last four intakes – growing in student enrolments and pass rates with each module completed. For the fifth intake, on 2 July, UJ launches its second batch of 100% online only programmes to complement UJ’s suite, with four additional online programmes: the Bachelor of Commerce in International Accounting; Bachelor of Human Resource Management; Advanced Diploma in Financial Markets and the Advanced Diploma in Transportation Management. All four of these reside in the UJ College of Business and Economics (CBE) and enable online students to collaborate with peers and lecturers, internationally. This development flows from the CBE’s ambition to drive socio-economic transformation and UJ’s pan-African agenda through accessible professional development.

Says Prof Amanda Dempsey, Senior Director of the CBE School of Accounting: “By shifting to online learning, UJ is creating a generation of informed and connected global citizens. Moreover, we are contributing to the needs of an adaptable, sustainable, knowledge-based economy which in turn, nurtures a democratic, diverse, and inclusive society.”

By offering these 100% online programmes, UJ is providing alternative means of acquiring internationally renowned qualifications available to students who are not able to attend face-to-face lectures. By going online, UJ is offering learning opportunities that accommodates logistical challenges such as full-time employment, geographical location, family obligations, and a host of other challenges that our modern student body faces. Technology is an integral component to UJ’s learning ecosystem and aligns well to international benchmark institutions. The student experience starts with the UJ student portal (uLink), which serves as a single, responsive, point of entry for all digital services. UJ’s Learning Management System enables the delivery of the content for each programme, while the Web interface and mobile app allows students real-time access on any device. Technical support is available 24/7 while academic support is continuously available, by means of teaching assistants, tutors and module co-ordinators.

Says Prof Rory Ryan, Executive Director of Academic Development and Support: “UJ is committed to applying new technologies in providing a 21st century learning experience to our students. This natural evolution of accessible education brings greater ease of access to learning. Students can further their careers and educational goals anywhere and at any time. The programmes are designed to suit multiple learning pathways that allow for a variety of learning paces, while keeping students engaged, motivated, supported and geared for success.”

For more information on the currently available online programmes visit www.online.uj.ac.za

Madibeng

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