Higher Education

Adaptation to a twenty-first century, complex and globalised environment is no longer a choice for the tertiary education sector, but an imperative. In Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE), universities and colleges are responding to the changing needs of contemporary students. Distance learning has evolved to maximise the potential for learning and teaching in a digital world.  Foundation or other university access courses open up pathways to degree courses, with distance learning playing an important role in engaging new learners.

The distance learners enrolling in tertiary education today have the benefit of excellent and timely access to their lecturers. They can engage with others in their cohort through real-time online classrooms, asynchronous online discussion forums and even live chatroom conversations that breathe a sense of being on-campus, even when they are living in remote areas. Those highly motivated students of today expect the flexibility they need when balancing study, work and other life commitments. This means being able to study when they want.

Distance learning accreditation is a valuable way to assure all stakeholders, be they the learners, their families, government authorities or the media, that an institution and/or a program they are offering is of high quality. Accreditation constitutes a review of the quality of these institutions and programs, and therefore, the assurance people desire.

The accreditation status of a university, college or one or more of their programs is a significant factor. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Those students applying for state or federal loans and grants to study a specific program or at a specific university or college may be restricted to those with accreditation.
  • Organisations offering study assistance to their employees, assessing the educational qualifications of potential employees or considering making a donation, do want to know the relevant institutions or programs are accredited.
  • A university, college or specific programs must be accredited to be eligible for federal funding generally or via loans and grants.
  • On a state government level, similar conditions can apply before a university, college or specific program, or their students,can access funding. Accreditation may also be required for some professional fields before students are allowed to sit for state licensing examinations.