20 Dec 2021
As face-to-face learning flatlined during the pandemic, the Engineering Institute of Technology was ready to answer the call for quality online learning.
With a device and an internet connection, globally based students can access Australian engineering qualifications. These are recognised through the International Engineering Accords.
Established in 2008, EIT is one of a handful of independent, government-accredited vocational and higher education providers worldwide.
The 38 high-quality engineering and technology courses, all of which can be completed remotely, makes EIT a natural exporter. Current enrolments exceed 2,350 students from more than 140 countries.
‘We’ve been able to empower students everywhere, even in quite isolated areas,’ says EIT’s Technical Manager James Mackay. ‘They can undertake their studies entirely online.’
COVID-19 as a competitive advantage
The global pandemic has disrupted traditional classroom attendance. While on-campus learning flatlined, demand for online learning soared. EIT was ready to answer the call.
‘EIT didn’t need to prepare for the pandemic,’ says Mackay. ‘We were already well into our online learning. We had all the systems available. We have also been nimble enough to ensure we could scale up for the increased demand on our systems.’
South African enrolments are a real numbers example. Online diplomas increased by 25%, certificates by 60%, master’s degrees by 58% and bachelor’s degrees by 12%.
Overall revenue increased by 23%. Online students represented more than 50% of the uptick.
This significant growth resulted in increased staffing requirements. EIT’s staff numbers, in Australia and abroad, have grown by 60% since the start of the pandemic.
Redefining remote learning across the world
All EIT programs are offered online, using a platform which has been refined and enhanced for more than a decade. For students seeking a campus experience, EIT’s degrees are offered in Perth and Melbourne, using blended learning platforms.
Both delivery modes use expert teachers and state-of-the-art online technologies. This has served to grow enrolments overseas, especially during the pandemic. Export now makes up around 60% of EIT’s total business.
‘Export is extremely important to us, especially as we’re an online organisation,’ says Mackay. ‘We have many students around the world in some of the most unique places.’
Great content at the core
EIT’s competitive advantage stems from industry-driven, internally developed content.
All courses are highly interactive, using online technologies to connect teachers and students in real time. Students also have dedicated Learning Support Officers.
‘One of the best benefits at EIT is that we have instructors and lecturers all around the world,’ says Mackay. ‘They can all share their unique experiences with our students.’
For their practical applications, students use remote laboratories connected to real equipment and virtual simulations. They have 24/7 access to the labs and to their Learning Management System.
Globally recognised programs
Many programs are accredited internationally through Engineers Australia, which is a signatory to the International Engineering Accords.
EIT is working towards government accreditation in South Africa, with accreditation in the US and UK in the works.
‘This accreditation means degrees can be conferred from within the students’ homelands, giving their qualifications a little more kudos,’ says Mackay. ‘Students will also be better placed to secure study loans.’
In 2020, EIT was ranked first out of 55 Australian engineering faculties for the quality of its educational experience for undergraduate students. It was ranked second for postgraduate teaching quality and second for student support.
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