Yesterday, over 100,000 Open University students received their results. A figure on a piece of paper does nothing to describe the level of commitment required to study in this way. Many university students attend a brick university work extremely hard to study for their modules, the hard work pays off and they are to be heavily congratulated. However, Open University students are studying as a distance learner which means you have to quickly develop an extremely high level of personal motivation and time management skills. Imagine that you’ve come home after a busy day at work, or, you are a stay at home parent of young children. Both of these roles require energy, patience, resilience and dedication. Now, imagine that on top of these duties, you also have the usual chores to do, dinner to cook etc, children to get to bed, homework to ensure is ready. Then, somehow, you have to carve out time to also study for a degree! How? Part-time is classed as an average of 16 hours a week. Maybe at Level 1 (equivalent to 1st year at a brick Uni), this is true. However, as you go up each level, you will need to increase that study time somehow. Another factor for many OU students is that they study from home because they have an illness or disability that makes study at a brick university almost impossible. I have read such inspirational accounts from students that have left me awe-struck with their determination to succeed, despite the many obstacles that makes it so very hard. Study with the OU is by no means a soft option and should never be seen as the easy way to get a degree that isn’t even real.
Seriously the amount of people considering an OU degree to not be a proper degree is startling! Yes, the OU allows ANYONE access to study, regardless of lack of previous qualifications. However, because the OU is not an elitist establishment, please don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s not a ‘real’ university. According to a recent study, the majority of FTSE 100 companies send employees to study with this fantastic university. You don’t get to be a FTSE 100 company by making daft decisions. This is just one example of how well-regarded the Open University is, in the business world. Employers are beginning to realise the levels of determination that it takes to be an OU student and how much this skill (among so many others) can be of benefit to their workforce. If you know anyone that studies/has studied with the OU, that person is amazing in so many ways. They have an astonishing amount of resilience and drive and their abilities in planning, time management and multi-tasking are really to be admired. Studying with the OU is not for the faint hearted but I would highly recommend it to anyone, of any age, that is looking for a challenge or change in direction. If you’ve, considered it and are unsure it’s right for you, there are a large number of free short courses online at the Open University website – just google Open Learn and it will take you straight there. A word of caution: study can be highly addictive! 😆😉
How do I know so much about the OU? Well, yesterday, after 6 years of blood, sweat and tears, I was extremely honoured to formally accept the offer of a 2:1 for my BA (Honours) Humanities with Literature. I am now looking at Masters degrees that would suit me after I have taken a well-deserved 12 month break. My graduation ceremony is in November (because of the venue I chose), on my birthday, and I will stand, shoulder to shoulder, with extreme pride, among an amazingly talented bunch of graduates, of which I am honoured to be counted. I will then formally be a member of a fantastic Alumni that is peppered with a ‘few’ celebrities that have been granted honorary doctorates. It is going to be a fantastic celebration that I will always cherish.