Education is continuing to shape the human mind and access to it determines one’s chances of success in life. Fortunately, the internet age has brought a particularly utile tool for those wishing to receive education from a distance due to complications in their lives; a system that is referred to as ‘online education’ and offers various subjects in numerous fields of study, while enabling the student to fully function in their private or professional life. Online degrees in this new system are simply a treasure for the struggling individual and their popularity among the public proves an obvious point: people are always prone to learning and institutions that provide lucrative opportunities to students of all backgrounds are breaking ground in this new style of education.
Markets function and grow through competition and in the case of online education, Australia’s top universities are entering the competition one by one, as evidenced by the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) recent efforts. USQ is currently offering online courses in Business & Commerce, Engineering & Build Environment, Information Technology, Creative Arts & Media, Health & Community, Law & Justice, Education, Humanities & Communication as well as Sciences. Provided within 118 different online and external degrees servicing students from 94 different countries, the USQ online courses are designed to be accessed through online classrooms from virtually anywhere 24/7, while the study materials are provided to the students through their course StudyDesks along with access to online forums, discussions and resources. Students enrolled in USQ’s online courses can use the UConnect system, an online student portal, to reach their Student Relationship Officers (SROs) anytime they wish to learn more about the system or consult them about issues they encounter.
Another serious competitor of such nature is Australian College with its dedication to “Research”, “Evidence”, “Knowledge” and “Practice” as the school offers 10 different online programs covering the fundamentals of modern-day education, and offering creative and technical options. These courses are offered in programs of Accounting and Finance, Business, Management and Marketing, Childcare Education and Support, Fitness, Health and Sport, Design and Photography, Hospitality, Tourism and Travel, Information Technology, Journalism, Editing and Publishing, Transport and Logistics as well as Writing, Film and Television. The school promotes itself as “proudly Australian owned” and as “a leading provider of online courses” seeking to “offer the highest quality in education with a flexible, supportive approach for students” to improve individuals’ career prospects. The online program at Australian College not only provides online access to course material but also trainer guidance designed to lead the student through rigorous academic learning by answering the student’s questions. The program offers approximately 100 courses of as of today while the school also offer career consultancy and advice services in conjunction with online education.
University of New England (UNE) is another ambitious competitor in the game, offering online courses in various fields of study, including Arts, Legal Studies, Local, Family and Applied History, Paralegal Studies, Science, Agricultural Production and Management, Teaching and Accounting among others. Being Australia’s best online university, UNE has come up with a unique course content and design that allows students to access content on a weekly basis according to their own schedules through podcasts, online readings, discussion questions to be posted on online boards along with online quizzes and videos. The UNE lecturers are responsible for guiding students through the use of a weekly study plan as well as checking their submissions on discussion boards and forums. The system also provides several online facilities to promote student communication. The facilities enable students to “send questions, submit assignments, order library books, check grades and access other resources, 24 hours a day, seven days a week” to create a virtual community of avid and ambitious learners to boost their study experiences. Some courses, especially in hands-on study fields such as science and health and medical, are offered at intensive schools on the Armidale campus as they require practical exercises as well as tutorials and lectures during intensive periods.