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How Learn to Lead lured thousands off Netflix and into an online classroom


After the overwhelming success of the online short course last year, Learn to Lead was back in 2021 with a resoundingly positive response, receiving more than 7,000 sign ups, a 56% increase on last year, from alumni in over 70 countries across the globe.

The free online leadership course was delivered by the UNSW Alumni team in partnership with the AGSM and Australian EdTech startup Guroo Producer, and it focussed on timely topics such as decision making under uncertainty, leading for social impact and influencing through communication. Facilitating the course were world leading experts: including renowned academic Professor Frederik Anseel from UNSW Business School as well as Professor of Cognitive Psychology Ben Newell, internationally acclaimed speaker Jo O’Reilly, and leadership and culture specialist Dr Ali Walker. 

The course provided alumni with an opportunity to upskill for the post-pandemic workplace and seek connection and purpose during long lockdowns and periods of uncertainty.  

Among the participants was a mum-of-two who said the intuitive online course made it possible for her to learn again at a university two decades after she graduated and while juggling young children. A 90-year-old who graduated in the 1960s said he easily navigated around the course, which he enrolled in to keep his mind sharp.   

In a post-course survey, participants rated the course 8.6/10 and said the course helped lift them when they were feeling unmotivated and stressed during the pandemic, even helping some get off the couch and away from Netflix for a few productive evenings. 

The course also had a high completion rate for a free online course, with 34 per cent of registrants completing the course compared to the average 4 per cent completion rate for free online courses on other platforms. 

Underlining the value and credibility of the course, 93 per cent of registrants accepted their digital badge and more than two-thirds (68%) shared it on social media, a rate much higher than Credly’s 47 per cent average.  

Learn to Lead was run through the University’s new online ‘Navigator’ platform, which was rolled out by Guroo Producer, and enabled a record number of overseas alumni to join in due to the flexible learning opportunities and recorded sessions.  

Stay tuned for 2022 and make sure your alumni details are up to date to ensure you receive exclusive opportunities like Learn to Lead.