Swinburne Online celebrated its first graduating class at the Swinburne University of Technology graduation ceremony in Melbourne Wednesday 26 March.
This is the first group of students to graduate from the only online education provider of its kind in Australia. Swinburne Online CEO Denice Pitt said this first graduating class is not only a great achievement for Swinburne but for online education.
“Everything we do works towards setting the benchmark for online learning in higher education.
“Our first graduates are testament to our efforts in being able to deliver high quality education and reach successful learning outcomes,” Ms Pitt said.
Swinburne Online is a public private partnership between SEEK and Swinburne University of Technology and for over two and a half years, has been offering degree programs fully online.
Although the students graduating come from different parts of Australia, all of them began studying online because on-campus study was not an option.
Bachelor of Business graduate Stephanie Perin is the first in her family to receive a university qualification and says she is ecstatic to finally finish.
“A degree means a lot to me, it gives me purpose. It allows me to dream of what I can be. It means a better career. It means I no longer fear being unemployed. It means I am an independent, strong woman who has a bright future.
“I came from a poor and uneducated family; my mother didn't finish high school. So being the first person in my family to get a degree means a lot to me. My mother always said you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I believed her.”
Stephanie, a mother of two young children, worked full time while studying for her degree. She says building towards a career was the main reason she applied for the online degree.
“Shortly after I had my second child I was made redundant. Going back into the job market was scary and I soon realised it was difficult to get an interview without a degree.
“I needed flexibility and didn't want to attend university on campus because I had a full time job and family so online study was my only option.”
This has proven to be a large part of the success of Swinburne Online as it has been able to provide access to higher education to students who may not otherwise have found their way through a traditional university campus.
“To say I am proud of our first graduates is an understatement. These students were able to manage multiple commitments while pursuing their academic goals.
“This is a concerted effort not only from our students but from every single person that makes up Swinburne Online. Graduation is a great success for everyone involved,” said Ms Pitt.
Swinburne Online's first graduates:
Jessica Hales Bachelor of Communication
Alyse Henry Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
Kylie O’Brien Bachelor of Business (Management)
Stephanie Perin Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
Liam Woods Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
Barbara Zois Bachelor of Business (Marketing)