Distance learning courses with the student at the centre
If we want to change career, alter the direction of our lives, or simply take time to try something new, education is one of the best tools we have to reinvent ourselves. And thanks to technology, the barriers to learning are falling all the time.
Away from the traditional routes of school and university, students now have access to online learning – no matter what their age, location or background. Studying remotely via the web, also known as distance learning, is an increasingly popular choice. In fact, the global e-learning market is set to be worth a whopping $319bn by 2025.
For Matt Jones, Founder and Managing Director of Oxbridge, the distance learning course provider, the motivation for starting the business was to help people from around the world accomplish their personal goals and follow the lifestyle they really want to lead.
Disruption North grabbed its schoolbag and headed off to Birmingham to find out more.
Learning for all
As part of its aim to broaden access to learning, Oxbridge offers over 250 courses in everything from traditional GCSEs and A levels, to childcare, counselling and bookkeeping. Their learning platform is designed to support students with their educational needs, including facilitating learning in bitesize chunks, and an AI program to identify and help students who may be struggling.
It’s also important for the company to reform the impersonal and often isolating nature of distance learning, with unlimited tutor support. And its an approach that seems to be working. From their foundation in 2016, Oxbridge now has a host of awards under its belt, including Best Use of Blended Learning at the Learning Technologies Awards 2019.
A big part of Jones’ ethos is to play an active role in his local community, to give back to the region which has supported his business growth.
“I feel it’s incredibly important to be a responsible and generous member of your community,” he says. “Businesses of all sizes should all try to instil this into their culture and have a significant impact in that area.”
The Midlands region has seen exciting growth in the last decade, with a 20 year development framework – the Big City Plan – aiming to create a better connected city, thousands of new jobs and contribute billions to the economy. Greater investment in tech in particular has enabled Birmingham to expand rapidly, in turn fostering an entrepreneurial environment and attracting startups to the area.
“The Midlands, particularly Birmingham, is a great place work,” Jones says. “Year on year, the city has been rated a top location outside of London to start a business.”
“There’s a reason it’s often dubbed the UK’s Silicon Valley. It’s one of the youngest, hippest, diverse cities in the country with brilliant networks and support structures, including incubators and accelerators for startups to industry tie ups.”
“I find that doing business in Birmingham is pragmatic and fluid,” he adds. “Brummies have always been ‘doers’ and so dealing with us is pretty easy. Birmingham has done so much for Oxbridge. As the EdTech sector continues to grow, we’ll look for new ways to champion the region with a new generation of learners.”
Would you like to feature in our Disruption North programme? If you’re an exciting digital or technology business in the North of England, we want to hear from you.