The rapid development of technology and the internet is changing the way people communicate and learn. Likewise, the fastest-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 since Ancient Greece, the ability to provide worldwide access to top-quality higher education is new. Technology transforms higher education with its extraordinary ability to deliver knowledge unbound by geography and time. It has captured the imaginations of people around the world.
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is reimagining what the future of education might look like with three new master’s degree programmes, all completely online. The programmes – Master of Public Health; Master of Public Management and Governance; and Master of Education in Information and Communication Technology – are the first of their kind for UJ.
Says Prof Rory Ryan, executive director: academic development and support at UJ: “The shift to online learning represents UJ’s commitment to innovation and excellence in our academic curriculum. The new master’s programmes will equip our students with critical and professional skills that will benefit them in a competitive global environment.
We are confident that our online programmes will have a decisive impact on the development needs of our country and our continent
“Online learning increases the reach of the university to provide opportunities for those who want to integrate life, work and study in a way that suits their needs. State-of-the-art online learning materials, coupled with sophisticated systems of student support, are integral components of the suite of online academic programmes that UJ will implement in the next two years.”
He adds: “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 programmes are designed to support online students through technology and online collaboration with their peers and academic staff. All master’s programmes comprise 180 credits and can be completed in two years. The format comprises seven-week modules offered 100% online, with six start dates per year, allowing students multiple entry points to a programme. They also have the opportunity to determine their own pace and pay per module.
The Master of Public Health programme aims to empower health professionals to analyse, strategise and offer solutions to public health challenges in South Africa and around the globe.
The Master of Public Management and Governance programme provides analytical and management competencies at a master’s level to perform advanced tasks in the professional sector.
The Master of Education in Information and Communication Technology programmeteaches students to design and develop technological and digital learning environments and interventions to help shape the future of education in South Africa and beyond.
These programmes are aimed at community leaders whose interests involve developing a better South Africa.
Some reasons why UJ’s online learning offering is quite impressive:
Supportive, interactive learning
With the full support of staff and the ability to work together with other students online, students can share their perspectives and take part in topical discussions with their peers. Academic staff are available to answer questions while providing assignments and guiding instruction using various technologies.
Completely online modules
These programmes are designed to accommodate the lifestyles of professionals who want to study further. All programmes comprise 180 credits and can be completed in two years. Seven-week modules are offered 100% online, so students can work around their own schedule and at their own pace while paying per module.
No travel or contact sessions required
These programmes are designed to enable students to complete all modules, leading to degree completion, completely online. This gives them the flexibility to study at times best suited to their schedules while balancing work, studies and other responsibilities. Once enrolled, students can access the modules at any time via a laptop or another digital device, using an internet connection at home or from the office and other convenient locations!