Online commerce masters degree at Notre Dame Uni

ACADEMIA and industry have combined to offer high-flying business people the chance to complete a Masters degree online.

Notre Dame University is collaborating with online education provider Uni-U to offer the International Master of Electronic Commerce course. The program is the first of its kind to offer graduates the chance to study e-commerce in a flexible, online environment.

The first semester starts next month, with students to live and study together in Fremantle during the intensive i-week period. Students then will make use of a combination of online and face-to-face tuition over an 18 or 12-month period.

A completely online IMEC course will be offered in 2002.

Uni-U chief executive officer Professor Bernard Glasson said the program was targeted at those already in a business environment who wanted to take advantage of new Internet technologies.

“It’s targeted at those already in business, in marketing or accounting for example, who want to understand how to use the Internet to change the way they do things and take advantage of the new communication avenues,” he said.

“It is essentially an applications course, how to use electronic commerce to do business.”

Professor Glasson said he did not believe completing the degree online would reduce its value, as the degree had to meet the usual standards required by Notre Dame University.

Professor Glasson developed the program in conjunction with leading e-commerce author, Professor Efraim Turban, who lives in Hong Kong. Uni-U intends to give the Masters program a true international flavour in 2002, with students from across Australia and South-East Asia meeting in dedicated chat rooms to discuss ideas and course work.

Professor Glasson believes that, as graduates and business people develop a greater understanding of e-commerce, a specific e-commerce degree such as IMEC would become redundant.

“Because e-commerce is relatively new, people need to know how to handle it,” Professor Glasson said.

“My belief is that, in 10 years’ time, e-commerce will just be known as commerce, it will be part and parcel of what everybody does. But because it’s new we have to learn how to deal with it and it’s important to focus on it in the next five to 10 years.”

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