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The new degrees that are shaking things up

Ducere: education by world leaders

Ever hear the criticism that university graduates just aren’t job-ready?

When you consider that peak body Universities Australia recently launched a national strategy to address this criticism, it would seem that some university degrees really are failing the relevance test. Their new program is all about encouraging Work Integrated Learning (WIL), which is about finding ways to get businesses to work more closely with education providers to design curricula that combine theory and practice.

While WIL has long been the staple of selected degrees such as teaching and health, many other study paths lack the same hands-on experience – and today’s students are asking why. Universities Australia’s Chief Executive, Belinda Robinson, says student demand for WIL is on the rise, as such programs ‘play a practical role in giving students the skills and experience they need to match employer expectations’.

So where can online students go to get some WIL? Enter the newest player in Australian business degrees: Ducere. Just this month, the innovative course provider has partnered with the University of Canberra to launch online business degrees in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, marketing and management, and each is delivered with a twist: a third of the course is project-based, meaning students can build on their skills and knowledge in real-life industry-based situations before they graduate.

Ducere’s MBA takes this a step further: it has no set units and requires no course work. Instead, students work on three major projects, which can take between four and six months to complete, under the guidance of Ducere’s industry partners, the likes of which include national and multinational organisations KPMG, NAB, Linfox, PWC, Save the Children and SEEK. 

You might expect that these professional development opportunities are what make Ducere unique, but it’s only part of their story. They make good use of their video-based e-learning platform and have built up a seriously impressive ‘Global Faculty’ boasting over 250 CEOs, entrepreneurs, ex-prime ministers, Nobel Prize winners, United Nations humanitarians, ex-chief scientists and all manner of other experts who provide students with their personal knowledge and experience along the way. 

It’s an ambitious model that sees students learning about leadership alongside exclusive insights from Julia Gillard and John Howard, hearing the tricks of the marketing trade from David Copperfield and getting the insider tips on negotiations from self-made billionaire Lindsay Fox. 

While you can expect to be schooled online by some intimidating figures, these courses are designed to fit your lifestyle and slot in with your current business goals. Like other online education providers, Ducere offers the flexibility of self-paced learning, meaning you can take anywhere between six months and 10 years to get your qualification. 

As a provider of the Bachelor of Applied Social Entrepreneurship, Ducere also practices what it preaches: its business and management courses are offered on a fee-paying basis, allowing the profits they generate to fully fund the philanthropic programs of the Ducere Foundation. The Foundation operates with ‘the conscience of a not-for-profit, and the mindset of a global enterprise’ with initiatives so far including the Ducere Peace Centre Project and the Ducere Publishing House, which continue to create opportunities for leadership and training for disadvantaged African youth.

So if you want a qualification that gets you as close as possible to the real experience of those who have been there and done that, then it might be time for a little more WIL – and Ducere certainly has the way!

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