Innovative Partnerships: The Academy Xi Story

Claudia Reiners
December 11, 2019

Innovative Partnerships: The Academy Xi Story

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy

The demand for new skills and expertise is on the increase, and here at Candlefox we’re always keen to partner with education providers who are tackling this problem head-on.

With the technology evolution upon us, the skills gap needs to be effectively managed while people upskill and transition into new, in-demand roles.

Leading institutions such as Academy Xi are leading the charge here, offering short, practical courses that are empowering a new breed of learners in areas of study such as Product Management, Digital Marketing, UX, Service Design, UI, Agile and Mixed Reality.

As we’ve witnessed on our Marketplace over the past 18 months, short courses and micro-credentials are on the rise, fuelled by an increasing need to upskill the workforce, pivot into new industries as well as offering a more flexible approach to learning.

New Era of Learning – UX Design

UX Design is just one of these new fields that is experiencing huge growth and there is an exponential need for experienced UX professionals across Australia at the moment.

Academy Xi is at the forefront of UX and other Human-Centred Design courses, and has just recently announced their partnership with UNSW Sydney to deliver their 5-day immersive UX Accelerate course.

Held at UNSW Art & Design campus in Sydney, students of the UX Accelerate course will now get recognised prior learning towards a UNSW postgraduate qualification.
UNSW students will also be able to take the course in place of an elective.

This intensive course enables students to make immediate and impactful use of UX Design by:

  • Creating amazing digital user experiences
  • Designing websites or apps that are useful, usable, and desirable
  • Understanding the fundamentals of design research, problem framing, prototyping, usability testing and more.

UNSW is a member of Australia’s ‘Group of Eight’ Universities, a coalition of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, and ranks in the world’s top 50 universities.

Why UX Design?

It’s important to understand the context of the emerging space that Academy Xi
operates in, as well as their industry-leading, immersive teaching methods.

A recent LinkedIn Report on the ‘Future of Skills 2019’ references the rising skills in the Asia Pacific region, and how these demonstrate industry transformation and innovations.

The report goes on to explain how jobs are evolving and how there is an increasing need to future proof employees and businesses.

The Report discusses the relevance of rising skills such as User Experience Design and the need for ‘Human-Centred Design’. Put simply, there is a strong need for professionals who are ‘developing solutions to problems with a deep focus of understanding the human perspective in all steps of the process’.

As well as tech-dominated growth skill sets such as AI and frontend development, Human-Centred Design – while predominantly focused on tech companies working across apps and websites – is a skill set that is now spreading out across most industries in helping to create online experiences that are engaging and meaningful.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that there is a growing demand for UX skills and why it’s a booming industry.

Flexible Learning

The push towards shorter course offerings and partnerships such as this one is a sign of a larger education industry trend.

The flexibility and practicality of short courses have been noted in the most recent Australian Qualifications Framework Review, which states that shorter form credentials are “increasingly important to learning for up-skilling and re-skilling both within the workplace and through education and training providers”.

While the Review doesn’t push for shorter form credentials to be formally recognised with the Australian qualifications framework, it does recommend pathways to facilitate the recognition of shorter form credentials.

The UNSW partnership with Academy Xi is evidence of this trend in practice, and how higher education can also work with industry and the wider education space to drive innovation.

Flexible learning also extends to online courses such as Academy Xi’s ‘UX UI Online Transform’. Studying online is more popular than ever before, as people juggle family and work commitments while trying to upskill in an ever-changing work environment.

The same support, practical UX UI experience and career guidance are offered as part of Academy Xi’s UX UI Online Transform course as the in-class equivalent.

Studying online is not a new concept, but earning an industry recognised ‘digital credential’ continues to gain credibility and traction.


I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure how useful the UXA course could be at first– after all it is only five days right? WRONG. To my delighted surprise, 5 days was a perfect amount of time to be comfortably immersed in all things UX. The instructor did such a great job of blending UX theory with real, relatable experience before coaching us through application. With the benefit of a small class size, the one on one with the instructor was really useful to fine tune our mindset and skillset. Thanks Xi!

– Joel Ferguson

We’re incredibly proud to partner with innovative providers such as Academy Xi, who have innovation and the students’ learning journey at the heart of their brand.

We’re looking forward to following Academy Xi’s continued success in the months and years to come.

In partnership with

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Claudia Reiners
Head of Strategy
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