Research: Eight in ten students want flexibility to fit study around busy lifestyles
TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute (WSI) is commencing the first stage of a fundamental shift in the VET market by introducing an entirely flexible course offering - “Mix + Match” which puts learning on the terms of the student by giving them the choice of how, when and where they study units within a qualification.
Today is the first release of what will be a wider range of Mix + Match products which will progressively increase throughout 2014 and 2015.
The innovative offering was created in response to research conducted by TAFE WSI which showed eight in ten (81 percent) students wanted greater flexibility in where, when and how they study to fit their study program around their individual lifestyle. The research also showed three quarters (75 percent) wanted the option of completing their studies faster by combining classroom learning with self-paced online learning.
Mix + Match will be available across more than 12 study areas* and will allow students to fit their studies around their current work and life schedule, with options to choose how, when and where they study. They can choose to learn online or face-to-face – or a combination of these – as well as being able to fast-track qualifications using previous qualifications and work experience.
“Western Sydney’s population is expected to grow by more than half a million people in the next 25 to 30 years and will be the engine powering growth for Australia’s economy with the development of the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area . We need to ensure people in this area have easy access to training options that are practical and relevant so they are job-ready with the right skills to work in growth areas,” said TAFE-WSI Associate Director Organisational Capability, Ms Francesca Saccaro.
“We have undertaken a significant amount of research with our student population and industry partners across western Sydney to identify what they need from their local TAFE. mix+match directly responds to these needs, as well as aligning with the TAFE NSW Owners Expectations released by the Minister for Education as part of the NSW-wide Let’s Talk About TAFE research initiative.
“The mix+match web portal has been designed to make enrolment simple, including the online shopping-style experience of selecting the modes of learning that suit the student. The flexibility of mix+match requires our customer service and educational resource capability to be able respond rapidly to our customers,” Ms Saccaro continued.
“In today’s market, students are demanding choice. While some may prefer to attend their TAFE college full-time or part-time, others may have jobs, families and other demands on their busy lives, around which studying needs to be accommodated and that’s where Mix + Match is a great option for our students,” Ms Saccaro concluded.
“TAFE-Western Sydney Institute has always provided industry relevant training that produces job-ready graduates for western Sydney businesses and beyond through regular consultation with industry reference groups,” said Mr Michael Sugg, General Manager Western Sydney Business Connection.
“Western Sydney is a fast growing region that requires increased skills to meet the demands of industry. TAFE WSI’s mix+match responds to the region’s commitment to further education by providing students with the flexibility to fit study around their work and their lives, which in the end will produce more work-ready graduates for the region and beyond,” Mr Sugg concluded.
One of the students featured in the campaign for Mix + Match is 38 year old Eric Fanene who is studying Diploma of Mental Health. Eric welcomes Mix + Match, “The course I’m studying has made a massive difference to my life, I have just started a new job in the area of mental health, which a TAFE teacher helped me get. I want to encourage other people to be role models for the community too and it’s not always easy to fit study in with other commitments. The flexibility of being able to combine what units I study in class at any of the TAFE WSI campuses or online, makes it much simpler. There are no more excuses for not pursuing further qualifications.”
TAFE WSI’s Mix + Match courses will be available online at www.mixmatch.org, from April 11 on campus at Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Castle Hill, Kingswood, Mount Druitt, Nirimba, Richmond, Katoomba and Wentworth Falls campuses.
Students can visit the website: www.mixmatch.org, Facebook:WSI Facebook, Twitter: WSI Twitter or call [131 870] for information on their flexible study options.