Growing up in England, I always heard about The Open University and the advantages it offered to people who otherwise might not be able to get a university degree. I didn’t know much about it though until 25 years ago when my uncle enrolled in an Open University program to get a teaching degree. He was 30 years old, married with kids and wanted to do something different with his life. He couldn’t go to university full-time as he had to take care of his family, so the UK’s The Open University gave him another way to get a university degree and to fulfill his dream of being a teacher. The UK’s Open University has almost 200,000 students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs via distance learning, with 25,000 of them being outside the UK. If you are thinking of enrolling in a degree program in The Open University, there are many advantages to doing so.
The Cost of an Open University Degree – With the cost for an Open University Degree currently running an average of between £3,500-5,000 ($5,750-8,215) for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, it’s a much cheaper option than paying to go to a UK university full-time with all the associated fees, living costs, accommodation, loss of income etc. that goes along with it.
You Can Work Full-Time While Taking an Open University Degree – One of the big reasons why many adults decide not to pursue a university degree is the money they will lose if they have to leave their full-time jobs for 2-4 years. Many adults have families and kids, just like my uncle did, so there’s no way going back to school full-time is even an option. The Open University degree gives you the advantage of being able to study for a degree while still working full-time and living your normal life.
You Can Study for an Open University Degree in the UK or Outside the UK – Whether you are a UK citizen or living in the UK, or not a UK citizen and not resident in the UK, you can still study for an Open University degree. Not every degree is available for those living outside the UK, but there are enough choices that more than 25,000 students every year study for university degrees through the UK’s Open University while not living in the country.
There are no Enrollment Qualifications for Undergraduate Degrees – It doesn’t matter if you did well in high school or not, have the pre-requisites, SAT scores, O Levels or A Levels that other UK universities require, the Open University has no enrollment qualifications for undergraduate degrees. So, if you think you can handle the program and be able to do the work necessary to pass all your courses and gain a university degree, go for it. The Open University certainly won’t stop you.
You Can Study in Your Own Time – All of the studying through The Open University is done via distance learning either on the internet, by DVD, radio or TV, or by correspondence. So you don’t have to physically be sitting in a class by a certain time. You can study at 3am on a Thursday or at 11pm on a Sunday evening. As long as you get the work done and handed in by the deadline, it doesn’t matter when you do it. This is an enormous advantage for those who work full-time and couldn’t arrange their classes around a traditional university schedule.
The Open University Degree is Available To Those With Special Circumstances – One of the best advantages of taking an Open University degree in the UK is for those who have special circumstances. A percentage of students every year who are enrolled in Open University degree programs are disabled, serving time in prison, not able to give up a full-time job, serving in the military overseas, or have to take care of sick family members. Traditional university degrees would never be an option for them, but The Open University works with them to make sure they too have the opportunity to pursue a university degree.
Teachers are Excellent on Open University Courses – The Open University has twice ended up in first place in a survey that was given to UK students on teaching excellence. The Open University students were so satisfied with the level of teaching they received and the teachers they interacted with that they give The Open University top marks.
There Are Many Courses and Degree Subjects Available – Through The Open University, you can study for a degree in English, Math, Science, Education, Accounting and Finance, Criminology, Geography, Environmental Studies, and pretty much anything else you could want to study.
The Open University Offers ‘Open’ Bachelors Degrees – You can even design your own Bachelors Degree through the Open University by choosing the courses you want to take to make up the syllabus of a degree you want.
There are so many advantages to taking courses towards earning an undergraduate or graduate degree at The Open University. If you want to work towards a university degree but don’t have the time or money to pursue a full-time degree at a traditional university, think about going through The Open University. Over 2 million other people have in the last 40 years, most of who have seen great benefit from it.
SOURCES: The Open University