Short courses connect students to new career opportunities and address national workforce challenges

Sinkarie Mansaray – a student and disability and aged care support worker – whose passion for helping others led her to complete an Undergraduate Certificate in Disability Care Support at The College.

Western Sydney University will continue to offer its range of highly-successful online short courses, giving people more opportunities to upskill and retrain for careers in sectors such as mental health and aged care – national priority areas vital to our post-pandemic economic recovery.

Chief Executive Officer of The College at Western Sydney University, Dr Nicolene Murdoch, said she was pleased a renewed funding commitment from the Commonwealth for the courses – developed in direct response to the Australian Government’s Higher Education Relief Package – would support intakes in April and June 2022.

“As one of the first institutions in Australia to quickly mobilise and rapidly scale up a comprehensive range of industry-focused online short courses at the height of the pandemic, Western Sydney University is proud to continue with this highly-successful program,” said Dr Murdoch.

“By offering these flexible, online short courses we are opening up access to educational opportunities not only for students from the Western Sydney region but from right across Australia, and helping address critical workforce challenges in areas that are a national priority.”

With 11 different undergraduate certificates offered through the University’s highly-regarded pathways provider The College, the six-month short courses cover disciplines such as counselling and mental health, aged care and disability support, information and communications technology, and environmental sustainability. On completion of the courses, students are also guaranteed a pathway to further study at the University.

“Western Sydney University has played a sector-leading role for over 30 years providing innovative pathways to higher education for people from diverse educational backgrounds,” said Dr Murdoch.

“Our online short courses are a natural extension of the University’s mission – playing an essential role to help so many Australians retrain, upskill and enhance their employment prospects at this crucial time in our nation’s economic recovery.”

According to Dr Murdoch, the courses have proved popular with students as they navigated the worst of the pandemic over the last two years, and now again, as many reassess their careers and future employment opportunities.

“We had our first intake in 2020, and since then we’ve successfully graduated almost 250 students . We are seeing a sustained interest in online short courses across in-demand sectors like health and aged care,” she said.

“We know the online delivery, intensive teaching sessions and embedded pathways to further study make the short courses attractive to students looking for a career transition or to upskill because of the flexibility, giving them the opportunity to study at their own pace to suit their work and life circumstances. We anticipate this interest will only increase as the economy continues to recover and employment opportunities grow, including in the corporate sector.”

Twenty-year-old Sinkarie Mansaray, who migrated from West Africa to Australia, said her passion for helping others led her to complete an Undergraduate Certificate in Disability Care Support at The College.

“I enjoy taking care of people because there’s nothing in this world that’s more rewarding than seeing the positive impacts you’ve contributed to their lives and families,” said Sinkarie.

Originally from Sierra Leone, Sinkarie used to look after her grandparents when her older family members would go to work. When they were unwell, she accompanied them to the hospital.

“I did this for many years so when I came to Australia, I made up my mind that I will someday make a great difference to the health system.”

Sinkarie is now studying a Diploma in Health Science at Western Sydney University and at the conclusion of this degree, she will receive credit for the first year of a Bachelor’s degree. She is also working in the health industry as a disability and aged care support worker.

Sinkarie plans to do further study to realise her dream of becoming a paediatric nurse or midwife, with ambitions to study a Master’s degree.

Living in Western Sydney, Sinkarie has found navigating the pandemic and online study challenging, but her teachers are always available for support.

“I chose to study at The College to further my education and knowledge which will enhance my job opportunities later on. What motivated me to study here was both the education and emotional support offered to students,” she said.

“Even with the whole madness of the pandemic, I make sure I find the time for my studies, work and to think about my future.”

The University has online short course intakes for April and June 2022. To find out more, visit the web page (opens in a new window).

ENDS

31 March 2022

Media Unit

Photo credit: Sally Tsoutas