Across the UK young people are receiving their A-Level results, entering the clearing process and deciding what to do next. Some will take the decision to leave home and head to university. Others will be looking for alternatives to traditional university, and here's where The Open University can help.
With a strong mission that higher education should be open to all, the UK's largest university offers entry right now, regardless of results. With 30 per cent of its student body under 25 and many working while they learn, the OU is increasingly attractive to younger students who want to follow its unique and alternative mode of study without a burden of debt. You can find out more, directly from OU students, in our Facebook Live chat from 10am to 11am on Friday 19th August.
Places available now, open to everyone
Jonathan Wylie, Director, Academic Services (Designate), said:
In the midst of the confusion of results, clearing and confirmations, the OU has a place available today and is open to everyone. It’s an offer that’s available right now. OU students take an alternative route to a degree which is flexible enough to fit in with the rest of their life. More students study with the OU than with any other university in the UK, thanks to our quality and excellent support for students.
Zero debt and an enjoyable student experience
21-year-old Jacob Smith graduated from the OU last year with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. The OU worked for Jacob as he had caring responsibilities for his mother and couldn’t go away to university, but he doesn’t feel he missed out.
“You can enjoy the student experience – there are lots of ways the OU connects with you; there are online events and Student Association meet ups. When I want, I can be in touch.”
Jacob completed his OU degree without any debt and is going on to study a Masters at Cardiff University, saying: “When I was visiting the universities I had Masters offers for, some academics I spoke to said that OU graduates are well placed for postgraduate study, as they are independent and self-motivated.”
The OU's flexible formula benefits students
Students who have benefited from the OU's flexible formula include 30-year-old Matthew Hall, a senior design engineer from Pudsey, West Yorkshire, who was encouraged by his employer to switch from a HND to a degree with the OU.
My employers at the time didn’t want me taking a day’s leave for education, so suggested that I looked into the OU courses as one of them had gone down that route in the past.
Matthew is now doing an MEng with the OU. Fellow graduate Eleri Jenkins, 27, from South Wales, who works for the Animal & Plant Health Agency, decided going away to university was not for her after doing her A-levels. A shoulder injury meant regular hospital appointments and she was "not interested" in going to a bricks and mortar university. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. Eleri said:
I have grown as a person, studying for and getting my degree has improved my employability and given me confidence. In fact, when I started studying I would not have recognised the person I have now become.
Student satisfaction is high
For more than 45 years the OU has provided high-quality teaching with a network of expert tutors, and used the latest technology to educate its students. Recent results from the National Student Survey show that students continue to rate the OU highly. The institution had the highest rating in the ‘assessment and feedback’ category, and course content and teaching were also rated highly.
Great value, flexible payment options
The cost of studying with the OU full time is £5,572 per year* but many students work throughout their studies and study 60 credits a year over six years to achieve an honours degree. You pay for each module separately and can access a part-time tuition fee loan – find out more on our fees and funding website.
Flexible ways into study
There are a number of ways you can get into Open University study:
- Access courses; designed to develop your study skills and give you a taster of the OU’s method of learning
- Credit transfer; where previous study counts towards an OU qualification
- Massive Open Online Courses which you can now use, in some cases, as credit towards a qualification
- Degree Apprenticeships; we're launching three apprenticeship programmes this Autumn
- OpenLearn, our free learning website, has courses and materials you can try, inlcuding Badged Open courses
- Validated courses; study a course at a partner institution which is validated for quality by the OU
Registration is open now for courses starting in the Autumn – it closes on 8 September.
* 2016/17 prices; fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.