Scouse and the University of Liverpool’s recipe for online learning

University of Liverpool, Scouse as a recipe for online learning

“Scouse” is an accent or dialect associated with the city of Liverpool, but did you know that it’s also a famous local dish? Just as Spain is famous for Paella, Liverpool is famous for Scouse, a hearty mix of ingredients that will warm your soul.

At the University of Liverpool, we have a passion for Scouse and a passion for online learning and maybe, if we stretch our imaginations and our metaphors a bit, they have a few things in common.

The University of Liverpool has offered 100% online Masters degrees since 2000 and has over 20,000 graduates across the globe. This is not quite as far back as Scouse which dates back to the 1700’s but still well over 20 years. The first programme to launch in the Management School was the MBA, in 2001.

This was the start of a learning journey which has seen our portfolio expand and our programmes change significantly based on our experience and learning over time and through taking advantage of advances in technology. For example, the global rollout of increasingly powerful broadband technology has enabled a shift from mostly text-based, asynchronous learning to multimedia, interactive resources and live synchronous sessions.

While the programmes have changed significantly, our underlying key ingredients, our recipe for online learning success, have stayed relatively consistent over time. This is much the same as Scouse, which has many different variations, but there are still key ingredients such as meat, potatoes, carrots and onions. So, what are the consistent, key ingredients of our online Masters programmes at the University of Liverpool?

Active Learning:

  • A fundamental principle of our approach to online learning is that learning is active rather than passive and social rather than something you do alone. Learning is designed to be engaging with opportunities for experiential learning and self-reflection, as well as learning with and from other students, and authentic assessment where students can apply their learning to their own organisation.
  • Quoting the famous track by Liverpool band, Gerry and the Pacemakers, we often remind ourselves that our students never walk alone… or learn alone… And then we move on because any reference to the famous Liverpool F.C. anthem is likely to irritate our colleagues who support Everton, the other big Premier League club in the city.

Partnership:

  • Our specialist online partner is Kaplan Open Learning. We have always offered our fully online Master’s programmes through a close partnership arrangement.
  • There are pros and cons to doing everything yourself or working with a partner, but for us, our partner enables us to provide world-class online education on a global scale and enables us to achieve our ambition to enhance the University’s global reputation and reach through our quality online education.
  • We are able to maintain a leading edge in areas such as learning technology and design by drawing on our partners’ specialist knowledge while the University provides world-class academic knowledge and expertise.

Accreditation & Community:

  • The University of Liverpool Management School is triple accredited by EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. We know this is important to our students and powerful for marketing. However, the path to triple accreditation has been very much a journey as well as a destination.
  • One of the benefits of the journey has been the people we have met along the way, the friends we have made and the things we have learned from each other. This includes people such as review panel members and representatives from other universities on their own accreditation journey.
  • Our Online MBA has been awarded the EOCCS Certification, which is an international online course certification system designed to evaluate the quality of online business and/or management-related courses that either stand-alone or constitute part of a certificate or programme.
  • We joined the EQUIS Online Learning Community in 2017 and find the annual Symposium for Online Learning is a great place to meet, to exchange ideas and to learn.  In fact, we are hosting the next symposium in September 2024 at the Management School, and we hope to see you there.

Liverpoolness:

  • OK, so Liverpoolness is not actually a real word, but you have probably heard the phrase “think global – act local”. Our curriculum and our logistics, such as student support and library access, reflect our truly global body of students. However, in terms of recipes, everyone needs one or two magic ingredients that make their dish unique and special.
  • For us, one of those magic ingredients is an authentic Liverpool flavour which we bring through our research, case studies, in-person graduation, alumni community, the close involvement of our faculty and integration with on-campus programmes, and everything we do to help students feel part of the University of Liverpool community even though most students only visit the physical campus when they graduate.

Continuous Learning:

  • Another phrase you may have heard is that ten years’ experience is not one year’s experience repeated ten times. It matters that we have over 20 years of experience because we have spent that time learning, adapting and improving our programmes.
  • We learn directly from students and faculty feedback, from accreditation and certification processes, and from online data analytics based on significant numbers of students over time. So, it’s not just a case of trust us because we’ve been in the market a long time but about a depth of experience and learning that helps us in managing complex partner relationships, understanding and meeting the needs of global part-time Masters students, and in our leading-edge learning design.

Hopefully, this has given you a flavour of the key ingredients that contribute to the University of Liverpool’s success in online learning. The profile of the city of Liverpool as a tourist destination was given a big boost when we hosted Eurovision in 2023, and it was recently ranked 7th best city in the world. The city has lots to offer, with museums, theatres, independent shops and restaurants, historic docks, and two cathedrals, the Beatles museum, to name but a few.

If you get a chance to visit, then there are websites which recommend where you can get the best Scouse. My personal favourite is Lunya, a family-owned Spanish restaurant which probably does a great paella, but I always have their Catalan Scouse which is a slightly spicy version that goes very well with their long-stem broccoli and a glass of red Vermouth. If you visit the Liverpool One shopping centre, you will see the Everton football club shop, which, with classic Liverpudlian humour, is called Everton Two!

You can explore more places to try Scouse in Liverpool here

Visit the history of Lobscouse to learn more about its evolution.

For additional insights, trends and perspectives about Online Learning, visit the conversation here.

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