Ever thought you’d like to go back to university to get an MBA under your academic belt but lacked the time, energy or inclination to make it onto the university campus? Then distance learning via the internet could be just the ticket for you. Online education is rapidly growing industry and promises exciting new opportunities for those interested in furthering their skills, knowledge and training from the comfort of their desktop.

With feature article (see p51) this month on MBAs it is logical extension to take look at the way online coverage of our universities’ MBA courses is being handled, while also pointing the way towards some useful online MBA portals and databases.

There are some useful sites for those in Australasia just getting started.

www.whatsonnz.com/directory/education/resources.htm provides information about some of the online MBAs on offer to New Zealanders mainly from United States universities. It’s also useful because it provides link to the websites of our main universities. similar but much better database site for Australian universities can be found at www.studyinaustralia.com. This site is well resourced and the home page has an easy-to-use format for finding the information you need. Click on ‘MBAs’ and you’ll be taken to directory of online learning facilities, which are once again based largely in the United States. However there is also list with url links to practically every major Australian educational facility, complete with profiles of each institution. You’ll also find an overview of the Australian education system and list of government resources available to help if you’re interested in studying in Australia.

While you’re about it you might also like to try www.elearners.com, an online education portal designed primarily for Australians, which lists over 23,000 online and distance-learning courses. It’s easy to navigate your way to information about online MBAs, but here, once again, if for example it’s an MBA majoring in accounting that you’re interested in, you’ll be linked up with the (most likely) American university offering that particular MBA online. There is however, wide variety of specialist MBAs on offer from the elearners.com site and it’s useful easy-to-use resource.

Another source of online MBA information comes from the people at monster.com. Its education-specific site www.monsterlearning.com makes it very easy to find your way to range of online MBA offerings. I searched using criteria provided in the following order: distance/online courses, graduate level, business/management, while using MBA as keyword and was returned 70 postings each with url link to range of international online MBA providers.

In the United Kingdom the University of Cambridge offers an online MBA – www.onlinelearning.org. For other online/distance courses available in the UK have look at www-icdl.open.ac.uk. It’s the website for the International Centre for Distance Learning and provides fairly comprehensive list of MBA providers within the UK. However, the information on this site is not being updated from April of this year so it will rapidly become out of date.

The website of the New Zealand MBA Association www.mba.org.nz gives useful summaries of the offerings of the nine business schools in New Zealand together with links. It is bit out of date however and the links don’t necessarily take you straight to the MBA offerings of the various institutions. Once you have found your way to the various MBA courses, it’s tad concerning to find some of them woefully out of date – with information up to two and three years old. One would have to question the management skills of learning institutions that can’t keep their websites relatively current.

If links pages or databases aren’t your thing and you want to go directly to the MBAs on offer in New Zealand universities, the following web addresses will get you there:
Auckland www.mba.auckland.ac.nz,
Massey http://ied.massey.ac.nz/mba/index.htm,
Waikato www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/mba/
Victoria www.vms.vuw.ac.nz/vuw/content/display_content.cfm?id=593 (a complicated pathway but at least it’s up to date when you get there),
Canterbury www.mang.canterbury.ac.nz/programinfo/mba/mba.htm,
Otago www.otagomba.co.nz.

The three other institutions offering MBAs are the Auckland Institute of Studies, St Helens Campus, www.ais.ac.nz/courses/mba/mba.html, Henley in New Zealand (an associate of Henley Management College launched in the UK in 1974, groundbreaker of alternative methods of study and now in 23 countries) www.henleymc.ac.nz/, and the Manukau Institute of Technology with Southern Cross University www.manukau.ac.nz/departments/business/mba/.

And if you still need more you can also try www.hyperstudy.com. It provides fairly complete database of New Zealand education providers. On the home page just click on “study in New Zealand” and go from there.

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer.
Email: [email protected]

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