The mood around the Open Univeristies Australia office is pretty happy this week, as we celebrate our 500,000th Open2Study enrolment. We couldn't be happier, or more grateful, to have you all with us as we provide free, online education for lifelong learners around the world.
This is just 18 months after we opened for business as part of the Open Universities Australia family. Our Executive General Manager Jose Herrera Perea says the speed of growth showed the astonishing global uptake of free courses and recreational learning.
'We were celebrating our first birthday just a few months ago in March so we are staggered to be passing half a million enrolments already,' he says. iThe MOOCs movement is all about allowing people to indulge their natural curiosity and learn new things just for the sheer mind-expanding joy of it.'
While we're most definitely an Australian platform, we are thrilled to have a range of international providers, and to welcome more than three quarters of our students from around the world. Did you know that only 21.6% of our current students are based in Australia? The rest come from every corner of the earth, including China, India, USA, UK and Egypt.
Jose says there are a couple of reasons for the astonishing success of the Open2Study MOOCs offering.
'We take a strongly student-centric approach in everything we do and the fruit of that is high student loyalty and participation – meaning once students have experienced a course with us, they tend to come back again and again, he says. 'We also work in close collaboration with our partner educators and providers to build each course and ensure it offers a high quality education experience.
'And because we have access to enormous amounts of data from Open2Study, we can take information about how students respond and learn in the online environment, and apply that knowledge to help us improve the learning experience for students across the board.'
So, thank you. Every one of you. This milestone is yours as much as it is ours.