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Date published: 8 January 2010

Open Universities Australia (OUA) held its second education business forum in conjunction with the meeting of the OUA Corporate Advisory panel to push and solidify online learning in the corporate sector. The luncheon hosted by Australia's largest online higher education services provider recently attracted around 70 high-profile executives from various significant industries throughout Victoria.

The initiative follows OUA's corporate partnerships with Mazda, VACC, and Publicis Loyalty that were announced earlier this year. Since 2004, OUA has grown more than 200% enrolling over 30,000 students in the last year alone.

Trevor O'Hoy, Chair of the Monash University Campaign and former Chief Executive Officer of Fosters said, "Technology is clearly the way of the future. Technology offers new ways to communicate and it's terrific that Open Universities Australia is doing great things with technology in the education space."

OUA's education business forum explained how companies face the current global economy with increased competition, decreasing product life cycles, more demanding customers, and constant technological innovation. In this environment, employees must continuously meet the evolving demands of the global marketplace - and how education addresses these corporate needs.

"Creativity and innovation are exceptionally important for businesses. If we don't innovate and continue to be different, we will wither and die. I'm a great believer that, for a business to be sustainable, organizations have to continue to be different - producing different products and taking them to market in various ways. And again, education plays a big role in a business," Trevor added.

Under the corporate initiative, OUA offers employees access to over 900 units and 60 qualifications from 15 leading Australian universities and TAFEs, as part of company-driven retention and development strategies.. Employees who take units will access study materials online, giving them the freedom to study at a time and place that suits them.

OUA also announced its most recent venture with the National Australia Bank, BMW, Unisuper and Skilled Australia. In announcing these new partnerships, OUA's Chief Executive Officer Stuart Hamilton said "A huge portion of our students are working adults looking for the liberty to study when and where it suits them. Now, OUA can extend the same advantage of convenience and flexibility to both employer and employee - developing the skills and knowledge they both need."  

He concluded, "The primary mission of our partnerships is to expand access to higher education in Australia. Under-represented groups, including working adults, students in regional and remote areas will be the big benefiters from these corporate partnerships. With a focus on students from non-traditional pathways, we strive to ensure that everyone has access to a variety of opportunities based on their achievements and capabilities to undertake studies and drive their own career development."

About Open Universities Australia

Open Universities Australia (OUA) is owned by seven leading Australian universities: Curtin University of technology, Griffith University, Macquarie University, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, and the University of South Australia. OUA is the largest online education services provider in Australia, and over 120, 000 students have studied through OUA since its establishment in 1993. Currently, OUA provides access to 900 units and 60 qualifications by 15 leading tertiary education providers in arts, humanities and social sciences, business, education, health, information technology, law, and science.

For further information, please see the contact information on the right.