St Augustine is an accredited long distance South African university that offers its students a real-time education experience with its “blended” distance learning programme. Here we look at how distance education has grown in popularity over the last three years and what high quality education courses are available to students choosing to work remotely.
Accredited distance learning colleges have become the norm, rather than the exception, after the 2019/20 global pandemic forced people to reassess how they worked, played, and lived. According to a recent survey, 79 per cent of South Africa’s employees now work from home compared to 26 per cent before the pandemic, while 72.9% of the student population turned to home schooling during the lockdown.
This new way of living has accelerated the demand for distance learning courses from students seeking to broaden their education at their own pace from home. And South African colleges and universities have responded to this demand with innovative programmes, such as St Augustine’s blended learning classes. St Augustine has charted a different course with blended learning programme that present students with real-time classrooms presided over by live lecturers. Students join the lectures, receive their study materials, and meet fellow students. This active participation is achieved via Google Classroom which enables St Augustine students to actively take part in the blended learning programmes with fellow students from all over the globe.
· St Augustine College offers various degree courses. These include:
· Philosophy Doctorates in Theology,Philosophy and Education.
· Philosophy Masters in Theology, Culture and Education, and Philosophy
· Bachelor Honours in Theology, Philosophy, and Peace Studies
· Higher Certificate in Biblical Studies
· I found a family where I am not just a number but a valuable, deserving human being destined to grow and flourish in a challenging academic environment. Anastasia De Vries (Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy)I certainly would encourage any person who is interested in tertiary studies, particularly in Peace Studies, to enrol with the College. The experience is more than just academic learning, it’s experiential and relevant to life. Atty Sobayeni (Bachelor of Arts Honours in Peace Studies)
· The patience of the lecturers and the collegiality encouraged among us as students enriched one’s worldview and impacted one’s everyday life. I will never forget the helpfulness and courtesy of the staff that made the college a place where one felt safe enough to be themselves. In short, I grew immensely – not just academically but also socially -during the time I spent in St Augustine. Coto Makaba (Master of Philosophy in Theology)
· I found that the modules offered were of a very high standard and were covered by well qualified lecturers from all over the world. Completing my Master’s degree at Saint Augustine was such a great experience for me that I decided to pursue my Doctoral degree with them as well. Gisele Kalil (Doctor of Philosophy in Theology)
· St Augustine has become a family to me, the care, expertise and knowledge offered are unbelievable - SARAH HORSHID – ZADA, Bachelor of Arts
· You will get the right amount of attention from the lecturers due to the small class sizes. Our lecturers are highly qualified and offer some of the best career and industry advice - MASEGO MADIBANE, Bachelor of Arts
· I appreciate that St Augustine encourages critical thinking, while the modules offered to allow for one to apply practically over and above the theory - SAMKELISIWE NKOMO, Major subjects Political Science, Philosophy and Geography
Distance universities in South Africa have quickly adapted to the new style of living, working, and studying from home that has evolved since the advent of the global viral pandemic and St Augustine College is no different. In fact, 2023 will see an array of innovations and a change of address for this online distance learning institution.
St Augustine courses are recognised and accredited by the national Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through the Council for Higher Education (CHE).