Learna, the Cardiff-based provider of postgraduate online education, has experienced its highest student intake to date with 63% more students enrolling for 2020-21 than this time last year.
Learna’s online courses span specialist Postgraduate Diploma’s and MSc’s for medical professionals, to a new portfolio of Executive MBA’s.
Delivered in partnership with The University of South Wales and The University of Gibraltar, Learna courses offer an online alternative to standard postgraduate courses, providing a way for business and healthcare professionals to grow their skills from home.
The significant growth in student numbers is accompanied by 16 new full-time hires for the organisation, bolstering staff numbers in departments including programme management, teaching and student services, along with Kirsty McCaig joining as Head of Marketing, following senior positions at Ty Hafan and Cardiff University.
During the course of the pandemic Learna has reported a 20% increase in turnover, led by the boost it has seen to its student numbers as working online quickly became the norm and distance learning became the obvious choice for many.
“The last 6 months have exposed the vulnerabilities of residential education and brought into focus the strengths of distance learning” says Professor Steve Davies, Founding Director at Learna.
“We’ve seen a sharp rise in the demand for online postgraduate Diplomas and MScs, particularly in programmes such as diabetes, acute medicine and respiratory disease.”
In 2020 Learna enhanced their course portfolio significantly, introducing an MSc in Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, led by Dr Meinir Jones the Associate Medical Director Transformation & VBHC & Clinical Lead MIU at Prince Philip Hospital Llanelli. Dr Jones has partaken in a number of expeditions as a team medic, including a five-day training expedition in Northern Norway; a 30-day expedition across Greenland and a 12-day crossing of the Pyrenees with a group of injured ex-servicemen.
And more recently MSc’s in Sports and Exercise Nutrition, Clinical Psychology and Public Health have been added to their offering, with ten more courses scheduled to be added in March 2021, including an MSc in Infectious Diseases, an area of medicine that has seen a significant spike in interest as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
“The events of 2020 have really highlighted the need for quality online learning platforms for sectors across the board”, says Courtenay Probert, Learna COO.
“Real life has been disrupted to an extent not witnessed in the modern age, but by operating in a virtual space Learna has thrived.
“We’re capitalising on this by expanding our MSc course programmes significantly in 2021, so that we can cater to a vast array of medical specialists who are looking to develop their skillsets. As well as developing new courses in our Executive MBA programme for professionals looking to maximise their potential in what will no doubt be an extremely competitive job market moving forward.”