So, you’re straight out of school, and now you’re being asked to cough up more than £9,000 just to continue your education. Sound unlikely? Well, it’s a situation that’s occurring every day to students across England.
It’s a terrifying prospect, being asked to shoulder that much debt at such a young age. Yet – in addition to rent, utilities, course texts and travel costs – people under the age of 20 are being asked to pay back mammoth loans if they want to continue learning, and it’s putting thousands of them off further education.
However, let’s not throw the uni-shaped baby out with the educational bathwater – there are alternatives for those with the aptitude to work and focus without the help of others.
An online distance learning degree is, although still necessarily consisting of tuition fees, a far cheaper option than university. More than this, it’s the perfect way to start a job and further your education, allowing you to neatly balance the two like some kind of educational wire walker.
It’s easy to dismiss online degrees as little more than the cheap, Del Boy-esque brother of “proper” university, blagging its way into viability with Mickey Mouse degrees and “moody” tutors. But a degree from a fully accredited distance learning course actually has exactly the same appeal as one from its bricks-and-mortar equivalent.
In addition, online education provides international students with the opportunity to earn a degree from a university in another country, without ever having to leave home. This not only saves these students a tremendous amount of money, but also opens up classroom space for local students.
All international students have to do is submit an official transcript, proof of English proficiency, and proof of financial support to apply for enrollment in an online university. If accepted, these students will have access to the same faculty and curriculum as those who complete their degrees on-campus, but they can stay in their own countries throughout their studies.
A brave new world of online learning
In actual fact, universities are increasingly embracing online content, pushing the campus lifestyle of library learning and tutorials onto the peripheries. With technological advancement, a physical education is becoming just as digitised as an online degree.
It’s put distance learning on an even keel with standard universities. Can’t find a book? Simply head online and check out Google Books, JSTOR, Google Scholar or Amazon. Need to chat to a tutor quickly? Just send them an email and, unless they’re particularly lazy, you’ll receive a reply within the day.
As the technological age continues in its march towards perfection, so, too, does distance learning increase its appeal.
But it’s not the only advantage of this kind of education. In a lot of ways, the campus lifestyle of endless parties, socialising and societies tends to get in the way of why you’re actually at university. Although fun, you generally find that those who have partied the hardest tend to study the least, so it’s a good idea to create a gulf between your study habits and that distracting lifestyle.
The great news is that there are many more programs being offered online than ever before, making this route much more viable for even the most dedicated student. Imagine being able to work at your own speed, from your own home, and never having to worry about making the commute to classes again. In addition, you can work ahead in the class if you have some free time, so you can finish your program much faster than in a traditional classroom. Click here for more information on the outstanding programs now offered by online universities.
The take-home message is this – there are other ways to experience further education than campus, and the alternatives are getting better all the time. So have a look at some online courses to see what they could offer you.