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Clearing 2019: OU offers a positive choice

A-level results day is looming and with it a wave of emotion across the UK as the Clearing process reaches high intensity.

The Open University continues to provide a positive choice, offering an alternative route to a degree for many young people and one which is open to all.

Increasingly attractive choice

In the National Student Satisfaction Survey 2019, the OU retained its place in the top 20 of all UK universities for overall satisfaction; the OU is also ranked first for assessment and feedback.

It’s an increasingly attractive choice for young people. In the latest academic year (2018/2019), 26% of our new UK students were aged between 18 and 23, a proportion which has been gradually increasing over time.

Studying for a degree with the OU can work out less expensive too. We’ve made a strategic decision to keep our tuition fees low to minimise financial barriers to study.

Our fees are a third lower than the typical full-time fees in higher education institutes; the full-time equivalent tuition fees at the OU in England are £6,024, compared to the typical £9,200. The OU also has a significant amount of support to help disadvantaged students achieve success.  

Many students work whilst learning, to allow them to progress their careers at the same time as gaining new skills, proving a cost-effective way to study. Some 76% of our directly-registered students work while they are learning, and this makes them very attractive to employers as they can easily demonstrate determination, motivation, and organisation skills.

OU study is flexible, says Vice-Chancellor Mary Kellett

Professor Mary Kellett, Vice-Chancellor, said: “As we mark our 50th anniversary this year, our mission of being open to all is as relevant as ever.

At this key time, it’s worthwhile remembering that the OU can provide a positive avenue to achieving a degree. More students study with the OU than with any other university in the UK, thanks to our fantastic learning material and excellent support. We offer an alternative route to a high-quality degree which is flexible enough to fit in with the rest of your life.

How our students study

You can step up the career ladder at the same time. Students can study at home or at work, on the move or on the beach – reading, watching and listening, doing activities and assignments, taking part in debates and discussions. Our course materials are available in a variety of different ways such as via video, podcast and interactive apps.

Support for tutors

Throughout their study, OU students get regular support from a dedicated tutor and Student Support Team. In addition to this, there is a vibrant community of OU students that learn and meet online, at group tutorials and through informal study groups.

Jess Hursit found OU study was more cost effective

OU student Jess Hursit, 25, studies with the OU and wants to be a primary school teacher. She chose the OU so that she could carry on working and the OU’s Open degree allows her to pick and choose subjects she enjoys to build her degree. She had been working for four years when she embarked on her degree:

“I knew I would struggle going back to having little money. It also meant that there would be a huge financial strain on my mum as she would have to take out a loan to be able to pay my accommodation and living costs.

“The Open University offers the chance for me to earn money whilst I study as I can work. It greatly reduced the cost of studying.”

Jess also has the chance to combine studies with her career as a dancer.

Robson recommends apprenticeships with the OU

Open University apprentice Robson Grant is a “shining light” at Milton Keynes University Hospital. He’s earned an Apprentice of the Year title and is widening his skillset and boosting his career prospects doing an OU Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship.

“The reason I chose The Open University apprenticeship over a physical university is you can manage your life around it a lot easier. It’s very flexible.”

Robson works at the hospital four days a week, with one day a week for his studies. He’s developing front end apps and his employer says he is providing a real benefit to the workplace. Robson says he would recommend anyone doing an apprenticeship with the OU.

Melanie switched to the OU to allow her to work and study

Melanie Bailey, 26, diverted from her initial route at a traditional university where she was studying psychology to the OU.

“I was away from home in central London and whilst I was enjoying the subject I felt there was something missing. I actually missed the part-time work I had been doing before university.”

Melanie returned home and worked at her local hospital in one of their laboratories, combined with doing a degree, mostly full-time in Natural Sciences.

“When you enjoy what you are studying and if it’s a love and passion it doesn’t feel like work. It was an escape from my regular day job and I didn’t think about it being tough.”

Flexible ways to study

There are a number of ways you can start your studies with The Open University:

Registration is open for courses starting in autumn 2019. Closing date: Thursday 12 September 2019.

Please note that fees vary in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and internationally – for full information go to our Fees and Funding pages.

About Author

Christine is a manager in the Media Relations team within the Marcomms Unit at the OU. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She is doing an MA in Philosophy with The Open University; she focuses on FASS stories and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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