Launch of new DCU Connected Marketing Campaign

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new DCU Connected marketing and recruitment campaign for the forthcoming academic year which formally gets underway on Monday 14th August. This year’s marketing includes a mix of posters, radio advertisements and targeted use of social media, with a 2017/18 campaign tagline of “Class comes to you”. 

DCU ConnectedIn this blog we have embedded a few examples of the visuals supporting our new DCU Connected campaign. The intention of the campaign is to amplify the flexibility that DCU Connected provides for part-time students and busy working professionals who have the option of studying towards a DCU qualification, wherever they live in Ireland—or beyond. To coincide with the campaign launch we will also be launching our new DCU Connected website.

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What is DCU Connected?

DCU Connected is the term we use to describe our online modules and programmes taken by around a 1000 DCU students who choose to study predominantly online, off-campus. DCU has a proud 30-year history of extending access to higher education for mature, part-time, geographically dispersed students through technology-enhanced models of online distance education.

DCU Connected Website

Why do we use the term DCU Connected?

At DCU we use the ‘DCU Connected’ platform to describe our online offerings as the focus is on the distinctive and transformative nature of the learning experience—that is, being connected! Importantly, this places the online experience in the world of our learners and helps to avoid the idea that “online” is nothing more than a web-based delivery mode. More to point, the DCU Connected experience is designed to be highly interactive and far more engaging than merely reading online content from the comfort of your home. In today’s digitally connected world through DCU Connected our online and geographically dispersed students can feel strongly connected to DCU, and their fellow classmates, wherever they live.

Currently our range of DCU Connected programme offerings are shared across two faculties and the Open Education Unit in the National Institute for Digital Learning. This year we have also received a sizeable external Government grant under the new Springboard+ scheme to offer a range of online programmes at no cost to students, which target people seeking work, homemakers and caregivers, and in some cases those already in employment wishing to reskill and transition to a new career. The more inclusive Springboard+ scheme is a sign from the Government that online learning is slowly becoming a valued means of supporting employability, lifelong learning and the development of human capital for the knowledge society.

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What future developments are planned?

Global demand for flexible models of higher education, particularly for part-time study at the postgraduate level from working professionals, continues to grow and we expect more DCU Connected courses will be available through Faculties over the next couple of years. Currently in the United States, for example, almost 30% of university students (over 6 million) are studying online. To put the growth in demand in further perspective, in Australia, around 34% of university students now study part-time (currently 13% in Irish universities), with over 30% studying off-campus through some type of online flexible delivery option. The proportion of remote distance learners is currently less than 3% in Irish universities.

Notably, in 2016 around 60 million people worldwide also registered for a free online course through one of the major MOOC platforms (e.g., Coursera, EdX, or FutureLearn). DCU will shortly be making an exciting announcement in this area. While the hype around MOOCs may have reduced there is no doubt that this form of online learning is here to stay.

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If you would like more information about DCU Connected or wish to talk with someone about developing a strategic partnership with the NIDL in this area, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Coalface to Keyface: Why Coal Miners Should Study Online

By Professor Mark Brown

We know from closer scrutiny the evidence is quite flimsy underlying claims that 65% of jobs of the future have yet to be invented (see my previous post on this topic). However, you do not have to be a highly qualified brain surgeon or rocket scientist to predict with some accuracy that over the next decade or so many new jobs will emerge, current ones will evolve and some positions may disappear. Put simply the future of work is not static!

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Growth of the ICT Sector

In terms of new jobs, for example, the demand in the ICT sector in Ireland alone is conservatively estimated in the National Skills Strategy 2025 to grow by an average 8,000 new job openings per annum (p.35). Of these, it was estimated when the Strategy was published that 85% of the jobs would be for high-level ICT professionals. Growth areas such as big data analytics, cloud computing, cyber security and the Internet of things are examples of the types of new jobs that have emerged in just the last few years.

Set against strong global demand for ICT talent the aforementioned National Strategy recognizes the need for multiple pathways to support career development and to make the field more attractive to a broader range of people. The Irish Government’s current Springboard+ funding scheme and ICT Skills Conversion Programme providing opportunities to undertake further study at no cost in strategically targeted areas offers one of these pathways. At Dublin City University (DCU) our Springboard+ courses can be taken fully online wherever you live in Ireland through our DCU Connected platform in areas ranging from Information and Communications Technology, Software Development, Internet Enterprise Systems, IT Entrepreneurship, and Operations Management.

Our flexible online delivery model is designed to make higher education as accessible as possible, irrespective of geographical location, in the spirit of the National Skills Strategy 2025 (2016), which states:

“Ireland is a small country, we cannot afford untapped talent, nor do we intend to leave any of our people locked out of participating in the workforce through a lack of skills. That is why there is a specific focus in this strategy on active inclusion for the economically marginalised” (p.7).

You can read more of this article and learn why there is a link to coalminers on Professor Mark Brown‘s Linkedin account.