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Massey first in NZ to join free online learning venture


Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey

Massey University has become the first New Zealand tertiary provider to join an international consortium offering open online courses.

After considering various online platforms, Massey has chosen to partner with Open2Study, created by Open Universities Australia.

The partnership was made official today, with Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey agreeing to start offering free online education this year through Open2Study.

Several well-known Australian universities have already joined Open2Study, including Curtin, Macquarie, and RMIT. OUA chief executive Paul Wappett welcomed Massey to the Open2Study platform. “Massey is known as one of the world’s leading distance education providers and its reputation made it an obvious choice for one of our first partnerships outside Australia," Mr Wappett says.

Massey is New Zealand's largest university provider of distance and online learning, with about half its 34,000 students studying by distance. Mr Maharey says that for more 50 years tens of thousands of graduates have benefited from the ability to study from home while working or meeting other personal commitments that prevent them from studying fulltime at a campus.
"This is an exciting development in what is fast becoming an international revolution in tertiary studies," he says. "For just over a year now, Massive Open Online Courses, known as MOOCs, have been offered around the world by some of the most prestigious and successful universities.

"It was an easy decision to partner with Open2Study as it will help create a high-quality pathway to learning that fits well with Massey's vision of being New Zealand's defining university and world leader in higher education and scholarship and our goals of internationalisation and providing an exceptional and distinctive learning experience for all students."

Mr Wappett says Open2Study provides an engaging and compelling education based on a comprehensive pedagogical model that recognises that online learners behave differently, and have different needs from on-campus learners.

"Open2Study offers the best possible online environment and techniques to help students understand what's being taught." These include a mix of six- to eight-minute videos, animations, simulations and quizzes, designed using high production values. Enrolling can be completed in less than 30 seconds. Courses can be completed in about four weeks.

More information about Open2Study is here.