Learna, the online postgraduate education provider, has seen its highest student intake for the second consecutive year with a 130% increase in admissions for 2021-22 compared to 12 months ago.
The company has also reported a 41% increase in turnover, mirroring the trajectory of the wider online learning sector which has reported huge growth in the last eighteen months, building on momentum that existed even pre-pandemic as more and more people turned to learning online.
Delivered in partnership with The University of South Wales, The University of Gibraltar, and now The University of Buckingham, Learna’s renowned online courses include specialist Postgraduate Diplomas and MScs designed for medical professionals.
The significant growth in student numbers is accompanied by 23 new full-time staff hires, including inFinance, IT, Marketing, Admissions, Quality, Student Support and Programme Management.
A key appointment for the firm this year was Peter Horrocks, who joined the organisation as non-Exec Director and Chair of its board, following four years as Vice Chancellor of the Open University. Prior to his move into education, Peter held numerous roles at the BBC, including Head of Television News, Head of the BBC Newsroom and Head of the BBC World Service.
The Cardiff based company has also established a new scholarship programme in collaboration with Novo Nordisk, which pioneers scientific breakthroughs to combat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases.
The Danish multinational healthcare company is this year sponsoring four students through diabetes programmes with Learna and the University of Paris, with the aim of improving diabetic care in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The new Novo Nordisk programme joins an existing scholarship programme with the Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the German science and technology company Merck Group, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people from underserved communities.
The Merck foundation helps pay for students from developing countries to go on Learna’s online courses, meaning professionals can remain and study in their home countries where their knowledge and expertise is needed most, with 270 students benefiting from the support this year.
Courtenay Probert, Chief Operating Officer at Learna, said: “The beauty of online learning is that individuals wanting flexible access to lifelong learning can achieve new qualifications at their own pace and from the comfort of wherever they are across the globe..
“Our scholarships with the Merck Foundation and now Novo Nordisk enable us to achieve our mission statement to improve global health care through medical education. Medical practitioners from around the world can access first-class tuition without having to leave their own communities, allowing them to continue serving those communities and increase capacity with their expertise.
“The fact these two world-leading organisations have chosen to partner with Learna reflects our standing as an internationally respected education provider, and we hope to build on that reputation with more exciting partnerships in future.”
Learna have responded to its growth by introducing several new courses this year, including Public Health (PGDip and MSc), Women’s Health (MSc), Neurosurgery (MSc), Dermatology (MSc – validated by University of Buckingham, we have another Derm programme with USW), Applied Clinical Psychology (MSc), and Sports and Exercise Nutrition (MSc).
The new additions follow on from a significant increase in Learna’s course portfolio in 2020, when 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 was added.
And more recently in 2021 MSc’s in Sports and Exercise Nutrition, Clinical Psychology and Public Health were added to Learna’s offering.
Mr Probert added: “With online learning in greater demand than ever before, Learna is continuing to grow including with the introduction of these outstanding new courses. We are proud that we are able to bring the most diverse range of medical programmes to people across the globe.
“After welcoming Peter Horrocks onboard, launching our new partnership with Buckingham University, and significantly expanding Learna’s portfolio, we are looking forward to another promising academic year and beyond.”