This Is How Higher Education Can Become Accessible To All

With the issues surrounding higher education in South Africa, could online learning bridge the gap?

13/10/2017 12:35 SAST | Updated 13/10/2017 12:37 SAST
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Using technology to learn

The most rapidly developing trend in higher education is the use of technology for the delivery of instruction by universities around the world. While the value of education has been recognised for centuries, the ability to provide worldwide access to top-quality higher education is new. With technology, the ability to deliver knowledge transcends geography and time - capturing the imaginations of people around the world.

In South Africa, the socio-economic issues around access to higher education are well-documented and persist under the well-known banner of #FeesMustFall.

To address some of these issues, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has launched three new Masters degree programmes – completely online. The programmes, including a Master of Public Health; a Master of Public Management and Governance; and a Master of Education in Information and Communication Technology are a first of its kind for UJ.

Says Professor Rory Ryan, Executive Director: Academic Development and Support, UJ: "Access to higher education in South Africa is increasingly difficult, and the funding of university education for 2018 and beyond remains unresolved. This is an exciting time at UJ; we are confident that our online programmes will have a decisive impact on the development needs of our country and our continent."

These are just some reasons why UJ's online learning offering is quite impressive:

1. You are not alone

With the full support of staff and the ability to collaborate with other students online, students are able to share their perspectives and participate in topical discussions with a cohort of peer students. There is also available academic staff to answer questions while providing assignments and guiding instruction using various technologies.

2. Your course, your rules

Designed to accommodate the lifestyles of professionals who want to study further. All programmes are comprised of 180 credits and can be completed in two years. The format is built on 7-week modules offered 100% online, so students can work around their schedule, at their own pace and pay per module.

3. No more being late for class and no more traffic

With the ability to log on from anywhere and study, there's no need for students to travel to class and there's certainly no need for them to have face-to-face sessions with lecturers (unless they really wanted to). You save yourself transport money, which goes a long way (towards paying for internet connectivity).

4. Put your learning to the test

Working while studying means you can apply real-life solutions to learning. For instance, with the Master of Public Health programme students that are health professionals are empowered to analyse, strategise, and offer solutions to public health challenges in South Africa and around the globe.

5. Opening the doors of opportunity much wider

With all the issues surrounding higher education in South Africa, technology can be an equaliser. With access to online learning, you can ensure that you not only broaden your literal horizon, you can also add to the global voices of change and exchange ideas with many like-minded folks around the world.

If you're ready to join the future classroom and expand your worldview, visit online.uj.ac.za for more information. You can also email enquiries@online.uj.ac.za or phone 0800 980 364 (toll-free).