Professor Elizabeth Johnson Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, Deakin University
Deakin University in southern-eastern Australia is a dual mode institution, providing study online for around 30 per cent of students. At present, Deakin enrols well over 60,000 students each year with the large majority (over 70 per cent) enrolling at least two years after completing schooling.
Adult or return-to-study learners make up almost all of the online enrolments, are 60 per cent of on-campus students and around 20 per cent of undergraduates. These students are returning to study after an initial degree or career, and have carer and other responsibilities. They bring a wide range of experiences and backgrounds and have varying goals. To create conditions for success, institutions need to understand their learners and celebrate the diversity amongst them.