The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education provider, has strengthened its partnership with The Open University (OU), the largest education institution in the UK, in a collaboration that is set to change the way students access distance learning education opportunities in South Africa and on the rest of the continent.
The two organisations today signed a Memorandum of Strategic Intent at the Sandton Head Office of JSE-listed ADvTECH PTY Ltd, the holding company of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).
Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education, which already is the only South African institution accredited by the British Accreditation Council, says the partnership will spark a substantial increase in globally relevant options for IIE students and alumni.
“The only form of international recognition and partnership that has real value is one in which we are able to develop our own offerings to students to continue to meet verified standards. To be able to work with a global leader in distance education to develop the competency of our staff, the presentation of our curriculum and the chances of success of our students is an opportunity we are excited to embrace.
“To be able to add to that our existing expertise and have The Open University interested in how we work and being willing to partner with us in our development goals in Africa is the result of several years of partnership and cooperation we have already enjoyed,” she says.
Coughlan says The Independent Institute of Education and The Open University share a commitment to developing graduates who are ready for a global career, and who are able to articulate academically and in the world of work.
The Open University is the global leader in flexible distance learning, and has taught more than 1.8 million students for almost half a century. Its current student body numbers over 170 000 – 15 000 of them outside the UK. Significantly, more than 70% of these students are in full or part-time employment, while four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to further their education through the institution.
The partnership between The IIE and The OU follows an announcement earlier this week that IIE holding company ADvTECH acquired the majority share in the University of Africa, in line with its expansion strategy.
Biznisafrica Staff Reporter
This is an extract of an article that appeared in biznisafrica.co.za on 1 February 2017