The idea that it is possible to earn whilst you learn is promoted as one of the advantages of Apprenticeships, but people have been learning and working a very long time.
Part-Time Student Numbers Increasing
The number of people studying with the Open University continues to increase, and the number of people under 25, an age group that would be expected to study full-time are an increasingly opting for part-time courses.
Jennifer Turl, 24, completed her degree with The Open University in 2012.
She turned down a place at Durham University in favour of being able to combine work and study.
“I was the only person in my sixth form that chose not to go away to university. Five years on I don’t regret my decision one bit. I have been able to study at my own pace, while holding down a full time job and gaining valuable experience in the job market.
I have no student debt and would consider myself far more employable than some of my counterparts fresh out of university who have struggled to find a job.
Life Style Choice
“I chose the OU because I didn’t feel the university lifestyle was for me.
After achieving 4A’s at A Level it wasn’t that I didn’t have the grades or ability. I was offered a place at Durham University, which is top of the league tables for my chosen subject, geography, but I preferred the flexibility offered by the OU.
It meant that I could work while studying to fund myself and avoid crippling debt. It was the best decision I ever made.”
One of the reasons why the Open University was created in the 1960’s was to enable people who had missed out on a university education to improve their life options by studying and working at the same time.
As the Willy Russell play and subsequent film Educating Rita staring Michael Caine and Julie Waters the Open University changed lives.
Changing Landscape of Education
When it was launched the Open University was perceived by some people as a poor person’s university that wasn’t really equal to traditional establishments. The landscape of higher education has undergone some dramatic changes.
The Open University offers an open learning model that fits studying around other work and family commitments, which is vitally important as the costs of full-time education continue to increase.