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University places

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University places

Postby ruggie » Sat 17 Jul 2010 21:39 GMT

Big flap in the UK media because the number of university applicants exceeds the number of places by more than ever before - for various reasons.

Althoughinteraction with peers is a valuable part of a student's time at university, this may be less important than it was - the Internet provides an alternative source.

I haven't seen it mentioned in the newspapers, but does anyone here know whether the Open University can take up some of the slack? Distance learning requires more self-discipline and motivation than attending colleges and universities, but it works well for some people.

What does the BE team think?
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Postby Graeme » Sun 18 Jul 2010 01:12 GMT

I completed a degree through open university here in BC Canada, it worked well for me and could be a viable option for the well disciplined learner. Very hard to do for a first time uni person I would think.
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Postby Dave » Sun 18 Jul 2010 09:37 GMT

I'm sure Graeme has a point here. Even when I were a lad, many students I knew found it a bit of a struggle to knuckle down and do the work needed to complete a degree successfully - and that was with tutor supervision. Trying to muster the discipline needed when left to their own devices would be pretty well bound to increase the drop-out rate.

And, as Ruggie says, the interaction with peers is an important part of the process too. Not to mention the fact that for many students it's the first experience they have of living away from home. (Even if many of them do go home to get their washing done. :twisted:)
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Postby Kay » Thu 22 Jul 2010 13:46 GMT

Remember it's not just the OU which offers distance learning courses. Many traditional unis do too - I did my MSc online with RGU whilst living abroad. I think it would be harder for a first-time student though.
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Postby ruggie » Fri 23 Jul 2010 14:08 GMT

Good point, Kay. I'd forgotten how common 'distance learning' degree courses (and other, more job-oriented courses at tertiary education level) are these days.

A lot of people taking such courses are holding down full time jobs as well. I tried doing an engineering correspondence course in my youth, but gave up after about 6 months. Now that part-time, home-based and freelance jobs are more common, perhaps there is a better chance - but only for highly-motivated and disciplined candidates. I think many providers are also doing more to get the students networking and meeting face-to-face. That should help.
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