Fully online courses for global lifelong learners
In June 2022, Stellenbosch University (SU) and edX partnered to increase access to high quality online education. The result is the virtual entity, StellenboschX, within which an exciting, multi-disciplinary course portfolio is in development.
The ‘StellenboschX’ offerings are set to showcase SU’s academic and research expertise, as well as SU’s links with industry partners and professional networks. The self-paced, flexible model of these courses are further aligned with SU’s broader hybrid learning strategy, by creating more flexible learning opportunities for students that cannot study on campus full time. This included working adults and international learners.
StellenboschX courses allow students to access and complete individual courses at free of charge, but it also includes professional certificate programmes. The latter are paid-for certificate-bearing course series. Read more about this course model here.
edX and SU’s philosophies are fittingly aligned: To evolve to the needs of contemporary, adult students, or learners, to hone their insights, develop in their careers and remain lifelong learners.
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From 2023, the StellenboschX course portfolio is being actively developed, with courses from various diciplines in the pipeline. Visit the StellenboschX page to keep abreast of new courses on offer.
“As a residential university, SU will continue to serve its on-campus students but will also aim – through its HL strategy – to ensure its course offerings are increasingly accessible to international students, working professionals, lifelong students and students whose personal circumstances do not allow them to regularly commute to (or reside on) campus.”
Dr Antoinette van der Merwe, Senior Director for Learning and Teaching Enhancement at SU
The development of these fully online, high quality of courses is further underpinned by a shared goal of edX and SU, namely the enablement of lifelong learners, as they continually expand their knowledge and hone their professional skills in order to contribute meaningfully to society. The partnership therefore links firmly with at least three of SU’s core strategic themes:
A transformative student experience
Purposeful partnerships and inclusive network
Networked and collaborative teaching and learning
The wide global reach of the edX platform was evident from the implementation of the StellenboschX pilot course. Over 6000 global learners from 89 countries participated in the first few months of the programme’s implementation, thereby supporting the University’s mission of
“… being a place connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities”
Geographic distribution of learners in StellenboschX’ pilot course, across 160 countries (January 2023). Source: edX insights for partners.
“This means in real terms that students from across the world with their diverse backgrounds and fields can access the unique Stellenbosch University offering and potentially forge networks across these previous geographic barriers.”
Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at SU
The StellenboschX pilot course
The Professional Certificate in Strategic Human Resources Management is based on one of SU’s first official hybrid learning programmes – the Strategic Human Resources Management (HRM) postgraduate diploma. It offers learners a blend of academic and practitioner insights as they are guided through a highly engaging yet flexible and self-paced learning experience.
To develop the series, the hybrid learning instructional design team has partnered with the SU Department of Industrial Psychology to curate content from the existing postgraduate qualification and supplement it with material and learning activities designed to speak to an international market of online learners.
“I really enjoyed the content of this very informative course, which will provide value in my career as an HR Professional. Thank you to the Stellenbosch Team!”
“I really enjoyed this online course! I thought it was well-planned and easy for me to follow. The workload was just enough, so I could finish everything with enough time, learn about the topics and not feel over-loaded or rushed. Thank you, Stellenbosch University!”
“I gained a thorough understanding of HR Risk Management, HR Governance, Digital HR and HR Technology, the Future of Work, and Global HR Strategies, among other topics.”
Testimonials from international learners who completed the verified programme, the Professional Certificate in Strategic Human Resources Management.