Part-time tertiary education is a solution to unaffordability

Student numbers across the country are falling as tertiary education fees are rising nationally, which is a double negative as the country is experiencing a chronic skills shortage across numerous professions.

“Educational institutions have to change the  model of contemporary education by introducing more flexible courses. Part-time study towards degrees is one such innovation,” says Shevonn Lurie, Managing Director of Vega School, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).

“Many of today’s matriculants aspire to further their education but either cannot afford to do so or are eager to begin working as soon as possible. Ambitious young people once saw university as a natural progression to landing their dream jobs. They now have to rethink what spending three or four years without earning an income or gaining valuable first-hand experience means,” says Lurie.  “Part-time study is also an attractive prospect for people already in the workplace who are perhaps looking for a career change or the opportunity for professional advancement.”

Vega School has experienced a pronounced increase in demand for part-time study degrees and courses from people who understand the benefits of being able to fit their studies in around their career and other commitments. “We have been developing such degrees and are now launching part-time study schedules for several of The IIE diplomas and degrees than can be obtained over four years.” These include Strategic Brand Communications and Strategic Brand Management.

The part-time IIE courses available at Vega are:

  • The BA and BA Honours in Strategic Brand Communication which equip students with strategic thinking and inspired planning skills. Degrees are in high demand from the brand communication industry. The courses develop the strategic skills required to identify, explore, analyse and solve pressing brand communication challenges.
  • BCom in Strategic Brand Management which grooms graduates for leadership positions in brand management and business strategy.
  • BCom Honours in Strategic Brand Management, which investigates and applies strategic models and tools to the practice of innovative and cost-effective brand management.
  • A Masters in Creative Brand Leadership which provides candidates with the knowledge, skills and competencies identified by industry as critical for senior brand management and business leaders.
  • An Advanced Diploma in Brand Innovation which can be used as a bridging course into a degree program.

Lurie points out that historically one of the biggest drawbacks of part-time study had been a high drop-out rate due to learners’ having other obligations. This has been resolved at Vega by its hands-on, practical style of tuition. “In three of our campuses – Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria – we’ve achieved a zero drop-out rate in 2015. In the final campus at Randburg the drop-out rate was less than 15%.”

She concludes that positions in the various past-time degree courses are still available, and interested parties should apply as soon as possible.

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