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Swinburne Online welcomes focus on innovation and online education

Swinburne Online has welcomed Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s strong call for Australian universities to embrace the online revolution in education.

Minister Pyne highlighted the growing importance of online education in a keynote speech this week to the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference.

The demand driven system has afforded universities a measure of ‘freedom to run their affairs’ unprecedented in recent history, and allowed universities increasingly to determine their own strategic directions and priorities, said Mr Pyne.

“Part of the reason for emphasising the importance of institutional freedom is that universities must be free to innovate – to try out new approaches to teaching and learning, and to research, untrammelled by excessive regulation or other burdens.”

“It may be that this is nowhere more important than in the emergence of online education,” said Mr Pyne.

Swinburne Online Director of Strategy, Professor Kay Lipson, said the demand driven system enabled the creation of Swinburne Online in 2011 and allowed the venture to push forward the quality of online education.

“Swinburne Online is set up outside of the traditional university structure and is therefore unencumbered by traditional ways of operating,” said Professor Lipson.

“This has given us the freedom to challenge entrenched processes that are common to the Australian university sector and change the way that higher education is provided in this country.”

“As a result, we have been able to respond to changing student demand, adapting the courses and support that we offer to match changing expectations both of students and employment markets.”

At the end of last year, Swinburne Online called for the continuation of the demand driven system through a submission to the review of the funding system.