From the AIM CEO - October 2014

The higher education reforms announced by the Federal Government earlier this year are a major development in the rapidly changing field of business education. Although these reforms will without a doubt have an effect on the competitive landscape of tertiary education, the revolution has already begun as consumers now have a wider variety of training products available to them than ever before.

University expansion has equipped a much larger share of the workforce with undergraduate degrees opening up new markets for postgraduate students. Radical changes in workplace relations have also meant that employees now have to manage their own professional development and plan for several career changes. This has transformed the education landscape giving rise to more just-in-time learning - just in time for the next promotion, just in time for the next career change.

It is within this context that AIM will reaffirm its commitment to managers and leaders as their preferred career training partner through the official launch of our new Online MBA on October 31. AIM is democratising the MBA by introducing a truly customer-centric offering that works around the student and is designed to make higher education accessible to a larger market.

As the flagship qualification for AIM, the Online MBA will merge online and face-to-face learning and will be structured so students can mix both types of learning depending on their preference. For students who want to finish the qualification quickly they will be able to be complete it in as little as 12 months and the courses have been designed so that students can better manage their busy periods at work and also take advantage of quieter times. With students able to start at any time of the year and work at their own pace, this level of flexibility promises to position our Online MBA as a legitimate game changer.

Although not essential for the rollout of our Online MBA, deregulation through the proposed higher education reforms will dovetail with the current shift in education from a focus on course-producers to course-consumers. With some degree prices rising as universities recoup their costs, students will become more alert to value for money.

Our MBA program was voted best value for money in BOSS Magazine’s annual MBA rankings and our goal is to further leverage this position by making an MBA accessible to a wider market. With considerably lower infrastructure costs than universities and an online framework we are able to offer a competitive product with practical sense that promises to provide great value to students. The goal is to appeal to those who may have been unsure about going into a traditional MBA environment by offering a more inclusive and accessible learning model.

The new MBA aims to put real value into the business by assessing the practical application of students learning in their workplace, rather than assessing learning via exams. While effectively consolidating our students’ learning, this will also help to improve their own work practice and the benefit to their business or organisation. At AIM we are able to inject practicality into our education by using managers and business people as lecturers which further adds to the real world value our programs offer.

Although physical campuses have historically been the hubs of higher learning, online learning provides much more accessible tools for enabling people to collaborate on academic information and come up with new ideas. AIM has developed an online virtual campus called AIM Connect that will provide an online community where collaboration and engagement can provide a more effective learning experience.

By leveraging popular social media tools, AIM Connect will provide students with real world networking opportunities that cannot be found on other online learning systems. Students can book time with AIM tutors to discuss their programs, curriculum and compliance queries. AIM Connect promises to be the most collaborative and accessible online education environment for business leaders and managers.

With around 80 students a year currently in our traditional face-to-face MBA, our goal is to build this number up to 600 students within the first year. The traditional face-to-face MBA will remain on offer and students will be able to complete an MBA by progressing from a graduate certificate in business and a graduate diploma.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne will officially launch AIM’s new Online MBA at AIM’s Adelaide offices on Friday October 31.

Daniel Musson FAIM
AIM Group Chief Executive Officer