Life can be busy, and sometimes, going to a traditional University and studying full-time for a number of years can be something unappealing. This is where the Open University can come in – and can be an excellent way of changing your life. Regardless of your previous education or experience, you will be welcomed at the Open University. Many courses have no entry requirements, with simply a computer and Internet access required. The Open University has been progressing considerably in recent years, and in many ways, has become a victim of its own success – with the University attracting some negative views, most of which are due to a number of myths associated with the institution. In this article, we look at the myths attached to the Open University.
1. An Open University Degree Isn’t ‘Proper’
Any course that you complete at the Open University will be fully-accredited by the relevant education authority. The University offers Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses, and provide the same qualification as any traditional University would. For instance, the Open University’s Business School boasts Triple Accreditation – something that only 1% of Business School’s in the world have achieved!
2. You Need A-Levels
There are no entry requirements to the lion-share of courses at the Open University. What really matters is what you leave with – not what you enter with. Experience doesn’t matter, and the inclusive nature of the Open University is a big drawing point for many.
3. The Open University Isn’t for ‘Clever’ People
Some big companies, including FTSE 100 companies and even the NHS use the Open University as a source of extra training and qualifications for its employees. Its part-time nature makes it perfect for these companies. Therefore, many bright minds will study at the Open University.
4. There is a Lack of Staff Support
Because the majority of studying is done at home, there is a belief that students struggle to get any support from staff. Yet technology has facilitated improved communication – and students receive support and feedback via a range of mediums – from email to telephone to Skype – communication is not an issue.
5. There is no Student’s Union
Okay, so while there might not be a Student’s Union, there is instead a ‘Student’s Association’. This is a group that has will do everything that a regular Student’s Union would do. The Student’s Association has the same functions as a regular Student’s Union would have, and is always on hand to provide support for students when required.
6. Students Are ‘Alone’
Again, not true. Yes, the majority of Open University students will learn at home, but this doesn’t mean they are ‘alone’, will become a social recluse and develop a case of cabin fever. In fact, the Open University actually has the largest community of students in the United Kingdom – with over 150,000 students enrolled year-on-year. With social media too, students are connected with one another like never before.
7. The Lectures Are ‘Out-Dated’
On the contrary, the Open University is constantly evolving, and is impressively moving with the times. The lectures are regularly updated, with learning materials also changing to suit the contemporary age. You won’t be sat around watching black and white footage.
8. The Standard is Poor and Employers Won’t be Interested
Going back to the above point, many big companies actively use the Open University. Moreover, it is the same qualification as a traditional University. Finally, check out the academic league tables here – the Open University actually ranks strongly – far ahead of countless Universities.
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9. It costs too much
Granted, the Open University isn’t cheap. Tuition fees for a full six years (part-time), will hit around £17,000. However, this is far cheaper than the £27,000 traditional Universities will charge, and in many cases you won’t need to worry about accommodation – which can easily hit around £7,000 per year. Regardless of the fees, there are flexible payment options available – and you can tailor the course around your life.
10. There Isn’t A Formal Graduation Ceremony
One of the greatest things about University is the graduation ceremony – which is the culmination of your degree. This is a day that you can celebrate with friends and family. Yet many believe that because the Open University isn’t a bricks-and-mortar University, that a graduation ceremony isn’t held. Well you are wrong! Students who graduate successfully will make that familiar walk across the stage as any other student would – with your cap and gown on too!
Hopefully this article helps to dispel some of the myths involved with the Open University. See our Advice pages here for more interesting articles.