The Open Training and Education Network (OTEN) challenges the notion of colleges as standardised institutions. By taking a personalised approach to education with its distance and online learning programmes, OTEN empowers students to take control of their education, studying whenever and wherever they want. With more than a century of experience, OTEN is the distance and online delivery unit of TAFE New South Wales - Western Sydney Institute, the 2010 Australian Large Training Provider of the Year. OTEN provides vocational programmes to students in Australia and around the world. "We offer personalised learning experiences. We work on developing different ways to engage students in their learning process and helping businesses improve their bottom line," says Susan Hartigan, institute director. OTEN incorporates new technologies and social media websites in its learning modules and in the numerous nationally recognised qualifications it offers. It has built a robust technological system to support the personalisation of education for its 60,000 students. Designed for individuals who want to explore new careers and build their skills, OTEN provides extensive support to ensure students receive the best education to help them achieve their goals. OTEN has close ties with industry and the community, giving students the advantage of learning skill sets in line with industry demands. The directors of education at OTEN serve as business line managers, liaising with professionals to track industry trends and provide solutions for business growth. Aside from providing vocational courses, OTEN provides workforce development solutions. OTEN has developed environmental and sustainability health checks to help companies determine areas that need strengthening. For instance, OTEN designed customised training materials for the Singapore operations of Japanese lens company Hoya, to familiarise staff and clients about optical technology. OTEN is also a proponent of training teachers to raise educational levels. In an effort to build up the qualifications of teachers in Asia, OTEN sends seasoned faculty members to train and update other teachers on the latest developments in vocational education and e-learning. In the region, OTEN has completed teacher training programmes with Ningbo Foreign Affairs School, YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College and INTI International University in Malaysia. OTEN also seeks to improve accounting, tourism and logistics skills on the mainland to meet growing demand in these industries. "Educational leadership is a specific skill set. It is something you need to nurture and nourish," Hartigan says. "What we have developed at Western Sydney Institute, including OTEN, is a model for change around leadership that works."