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Education New Zealand ties up with FutureLearn; offers course options for learners, teachers

12:42 PM Jun 18, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) has announced a new partnership with FutureLearn, which for the first time will provide courses from more than 15 New Zealand education providers on one centralised platform, to reach more than 15 million learners worldwide.

As part of Education New Zealand’s Partners’ Workshop Week, FutureLearn will be launched to nearly 500 international education stakeholders this week as an example of how New Zealand is diversifying its education offering for those who can’t travel here.

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FutureLearn is an online learning platform that offers learners and educators online courses. A selection of quality short courses will be offered by a variety of New Zealand education providers, including four leading universities, EdTech providers and blue-chip private training establishments Media Design School and TechFuturesLab. There will also be courses co-branded between New Zealand’s national vocational education body, Te Pūkenga, and several of its ITP subsidiaries including Wintec and NMIT.

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The courses include options for both learners and teachers across areas such as sustainable agriculture, Te Reo Māori, English language and growing a sustainable workforce.

Sustainability is increasingly important in students’ study choices. To cater for this, more than half of the courses are themed around sustainability.

ENZ’s General Manager of Partnerships and Marketing Paul Irwin said the short courses will provide global learners with a taste of a New Zealand international education experience, while also giving education providers a new way to reach learners.

“This is a key step in Education New Zealand’s strategy to take a New Zealand education experience to more learners, without the need to get on a plane.

“For the first time, this online platform gives us a New Zealand ‘shop window’ for learners to sample the innovative ways of learning our education sector has to offer. This pilot will enable us to learn and make adjustments as we diversify the way we deliver and make international education more accessible to more global learners, as well as continuing to reshape what international education looks like in a post-COVID world.

“The sustainability-themed courses also enable us to test interest in study relating to global causes where New Zealand has expertise,” Irwin said.

The FutureLearn pilot will showcase some of New Zealand’s burgeoning EdTech sector with VR, 3D-modellling and animation courses from VR Voom, as well as an introductory Te Reo course from Edumaxi.

Tertiary education organisation The Mind Lab aligns digital skills, technology and capabilities with the demands of the contemporary world. Founder Frances Valintine CNZM said ENZ’s partnership with FutureLearn will support New Zealand education providers to reach a global audience and showcase contemporary learning across a diverse range of subject areas.

“Education New Zealand’s investment in this pilot has helped to remove barriers for New Zealand education providers who want to reach a global audience of learners through innovative modes of delivery. This is exciting for the New Zealand sector as we broaden our reach from onshore delivery to online,” Valintine said.

The average length of the courses on offer are seven hours of learning. Learners can access the courses for free, choose to pay to upgrade and receive a digital certificate and longer access to course materials, or subscribe to FutureLearn and get unlimited access to content.

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