Australian Universities offer 'iTunes Style' Education
Two of Australia’s major universities, the University of NSW and the University of Western Australia, have announced that they will be offering a number of their courses for free online to anybody in the world from next year.
Following in the footsteps of Stanford and Columbia universities in the United States, as well as Harvard and Princeton, the two Australian institutions are embracing the newly titled model of education described as the “iTunes of higher education”. Coursera will run the free online courses.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are short courses that are offered exclusively online and free of charge by universities. They provide education in a subject; however do not necessarily lead to a formal qualification or credit. A number of critics have spoken out against such courses, believing them to be over-hyped, pointing to high non-completion rates and continuing preference among employers for formal qualifications. There has also been debate about whether these type of courses pose a threat to traditional university degrees.
A report published on Wednesday 31st July by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney about MOOCs argues that, rather than posing a threat to traditional universities, free online courses could offer opportunities to universities to better use technology and gain a greater global profile.
Professor Iain Martin, UNSW's acting vice-chancellor said the partnership with Coursera would help boost the university's digital education profile. “Importantly, it is also an excellent opportunity to incorporate some of the best online teaching practices and technological advancements into degree programs taught at UNSW,” he said.
Initial UNSW courses offered will be in science and engineering and will begin in 2014.
The iTunes Generation
The report also highlights a shift in the way people absorb information, and argues that the internet is having a profound effect of education, just like it has influenced the music industry, for example.
University degrees are increasingly like a live concert, the report states – immersive, at a cost and only available to a limited number of people – while the providers of MOOCs are the "iTunes of higher education", making a much cheaper version of the music available to all online.
“It's not as if iTunes killed the Rolling Stones or going to a Rolling Stones concert, in fact maybe those are even more attractive now because you can buy a playlist on iTunes,” said Professor Geoffrey Garrett of UNSW, co-author of the report.
“Yes it’s true people can access your material now more conveniently than they ever could before, but some people still want to experience the real concert, or the real education.”
Open Universities Australia made a foray into MOOCs this year, offering free courses to 25,000 students with a completion rate of about 26 percent. Garrett said at the moment the MOOCs were about the experience of learning, not an accreditation, so were in some respects, akin to adult education courses. “Instead of getting it from the local TAFE, you get it from a Harvard philosopher.”
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Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”