At the Victorian Institute of Technology’s bustling campuses in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney and Adelaide, a quiet revolution is underway. On the four city campuses, which are set to welcome 600 new international students this month, nothing significant may have changed. But behind the scenes, on VIT’s online servers, a quiet transformation is gathering pace – which could change the face of business education forever.
Last month, VIT took the bold step of uploading its Master of Business Administration (MBA) resources online for open learning, in what is believed to be a first for a private college in Australia.
The open-learning MBA – or “MBA pathway”, as VIT calls it – means that for an annual registration fee of just A$99, students anywhere in the world can access all the lectures and resources of the 100-plus modules, or subjects, that make up the 16 units of its MBA course.
While the college is keen to stress that its “$99 MBA pathway” does not provide a formal qualification, it does let students sample a rich variety of lectures – from business leadership and culture-building, to recruitment, marketing, and customer engagement – as well as Powerpoints, learning resources, digital library access, and self-assessments that students can do to see how well they’re tracking.
“It’s basically an opportunity for a student or a young professional to test out the subjects of our MBA program before they commit to a full two-year program,” says Arjun Surapaneni, the softly-spoken CEO of VIT.