The continuous growth of Online Learning as a positive indicator for small-sized universities such as QMU - An innovative approach to a business opportunity.
(2014) The continuous growth of Online Learning as a positive indicator for small-sized universities such as QMU - An innovative approach to a business opportunity., no. 71.
Purpose: The aim of the research is to investigate a possible business opportunity for QMU to attract more students by implementing Online Education, therefore increasing student number without expanding the university campus. Design, methodology and approach: This research follows a qualitative approach whereby 50 mixed-gender surveys were obtained. In addition, 6 interviews were conducted by the researcher; three to QMU faculty staff and three to managers in the financial business in Scotland. The data collection involved enquiring participants about numerous themes of OE like characteristics, viability and employers recognition. Findings: The results from the data analysis concluded that OE is not perceived as inadequate by employers in the financial sector in Scotland. However, the researcher has found small-sized universities (QMU) unable to successfully implement OE in the short term. This is due to limited resources. Nonetheless, collaborative partnerships with a second university are a more realistic option for a small-sized university willing to implement OE. Research limitations: The researcher's data collection technique required an interpretation of responses which may perhaps be considered as subjective. The small size of the sample considerable affects generalisability of the findings. Implications: This research will encourage the expansion of new business territories in order to improve QMU's long-term viability, thus generating a new business opportunity. Originality and value: An investigation of this business area was done in order to motivate the use of entrepreneur ideas, inspired by the business gateway zone in QMU. This study will help to identify the rationale for introducing and developing OE in a small-sized university. Key words: Online Education, Branding, Employers perception.