Otago's MBA offered to world

Ian Lafferty. Photo by Linda Robertson
Ian Lafferty. Photo by Linda Robertson
The University of Otago is taking one of its business degrees to the world by offering it over the web.

Executive programmes director Ian Lafferty said its master of business administration degree would be available online as well as on-campus next year.

The development comes after vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne last year was cool on Otago embracing the rise of ''massive open online courses'' - known as Moocs.

Mr Lafferty said its offering did not fit the definition of a Mooc and was instead a Spoc - a small private online course.

This meant class numbers would be limited to about 20 and those who signed up would pay just as much as if they were doing it on campus.

''It's important to note that this is the same degree as the one delivered to those who choose to live and study in Dunedin.

''It is the same curriculum, the same lecturers, and the same assessment.

''The difference is, we can offer this to students who live anywhere and choose to work full-time and study part-time.''

It was about offering flexibility.

"I've just spoken with a guy who is based in Mumbai. He wants to take his MBA, but his father's very sick.

''He doesn't want to leave his parents, but he wants to take an Otago MBA, so he's an ideal candidate.''

Using an advanced technology platform, lectures were conducted live and students could have discussions just like their on-campus counterparts.

The online version of the degree took two and a-half years, instead of the usual 15 months for full-time students.

''There will be a very high level of engagement among the students and the teaching team and we are offering a lot more than traditional distance courses where students study in isolation.''

The university also recently announced it had partnered with the New Zealand Institute of Directors to offer an executive MBA, which would be delivered over long weekends at Otago University campuses in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Queenstown.

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