Lockdowns trigger rethink for education providers

In 2020, many education providers had to replace in-person learning with online education.

Alana Kaye College in the Northern Territories and the Engineering Institute of Technology in Western Australia met these challenges head on. Three factors brought success and helped them grow: technology, resilience and a big dose of creative thinking.

Adapting the campus experience

Alana Kaye College was founded by Alana Anderson in 2011. It offers a suite of nationally recognised courses including Community Services, Early Childhood Education and Care, Leadership and Management, and Project Management. Today it delivers nationally recognised courses to students from more than 40 countries.

When the pandemic hit and travel halted, the college needed to act fast. Neither trainers nor students could attend the campus. International student numbers dropped. Staff members couldn’t even travel to promote the college.

This forced Alana Kaye College to completely rethink its campus environment and how it delivered courses. And it needed to do this while protecting students and staff and keeping its doors open.

Practical steps to aid international students

The college immediately put all learning materials online, so students could study while in lockdown. Then Alana Kaye College implemented a series of policies that focussed on the needs of its staff and students. This involved:

  • making it possible for trainers to teach online from home, which kept them employed
  • changing the scope of registration to allow international students who were not able to return home to continue studying at the college
  • setting up payment plans for international students who lost their jobs during lockdown
  • changing student timetables and breaking classes into smaller groups to safely enable the resumption of face-to-face classes
  • providing students with mental health support
  • providing food for students while on campus

Planning for a bright future

With an eye to the future, Alana and her team quickly changed their marketing approach. They focused more on attracting onshore international students. They also used social media to market overseas, and worked with a marketing officer in the Philippines. This means there will be international students ready to enrol once borders reopen.

The college is also working closely with education agents locally and overseas to attract more students. This will help Alana Kaye College continue to grow as restrictions ease.

“We are very proud of our continued growth during this time, and this is partially due to our positive attitude,” says Alana. “It is also a result of listening to our student and client needs, and working with our networks to continue marketing our college as a provider of choice.”

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