To be shocked at the cost of OU courses?

(66 Posts)
plaingirly Sun 10-Feb-13 19:09:02

I thought that distance learning was a sort of affordable (time and moneywise) way of getting a qualification.

The course that I was looking at was 6 years and £15000!!

Even the short courses are over £600.

Guess I am stuck doing what I am doing! sad

Waspie Wed 13-Feb-13 11:41:48

YANBU. Wow, I hadn't realised how much the fees had increased. I finished my OU degree in 2000 and at that time 60 point level 3 courses were around £600 plus another £350 or so for a residential course (if required).

I could claim tax relief on the fees and on the course set texts. I thought it very good value for money.

I couldn't afford to go to conventional university after school so did OU instead which worked very well for me. I wish it were funded better because it really is a great way to study.

I hope you manage to work out a way to afford it OP.

They changed the rules. OU students are now entitled to the same kind of funding as FT students at traditional universities. Phone the OU and they'll talk you through everything and explain what support is available.

claig Wed 13-Feb-13 07:27:10

YANBU

The OU is a great idea but the costs nowadays are too high and will put strivers off retraining and reskilling. The nation needs to subsidise the OU further in order to bring costs down.

plaingirly Wed 13-Feb-13 07:04:33

Will have to ring them - reading around my btec 5 might disqualify me from financial assistance.

TheBigJessie Mon 11-Feb-13 20:45:02

Sounds like you most likely do meet the criteria to me. Call the OU.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Feb-13 17:56:13

Phone the OU. They're very helpful.

plaingirly Mon 11-Feb-13 17:11:12

I thought that student loans were for those actually going to university or doing full time courses - figured that I wouldn't meet the criteria.

jellybeans Mon 11-Feb-13 12:11:13

It is very expensive but now you get get student loans which will help some people. Luckily I am over halfway through my degree so entitled to transitional fees.

No you don't. You have to have been living in the UK for 3 years and be 'ordinarily resident' in Scotland on a specified date (usually 1 August). That is, you actually have to be living in Scotland not just arriving a little bit early so that you can go to university. If you/your partner got a job in Scotland, you moved up there and sent the kids to school and then went to university then you'd be 'ordinarily resident' in Scotland (so long as you were all moved up and everything by the relevant date before term starts at university). That's a lot of upheaval to go through to save a bit on university fees, so people don't generally just relocate their whole family on a whim. It probably wouldn't be worth it.

TheBigJessie Mon 11-Feb-13 12:03:12

Well, it is still more affordable than the bricks and mortar version. £15,000 for a whole degree is a lot cheaper than £9,000 a year + living costs in a strange city.

However, if you don't have any higher education experience at all, the costs can be cut down to a loan of £12,000 or so, through the Access to Success route.

www.open.ac.uk/study/explained/study-explained/our-range-courses/openings-courses/access-to-success-route

Goodtalkingtoo Mon 11-Feb-13 10:41:37

you have to have lived in scotland for last 2 years

But you could move to Scotland and get a no-fee degree FT at a traditional university if you really wanted to.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Feb-13 09:56:42

Scottish students don't get free OU degrees, although it is much reduced. I paid £700 for 60 points last year.

OP your BTEC may not count for many points, there's a calculator in the OU website, doesn't matter what the subject is though, all courses count.

The flip side of that is that people who grew up in Scotland (were educated there) and then move to England are considered English students and get the relevant funding.

The eligibility is the same as for degrees at traditional university. You are considered a Scottish student if you are ordinarily resident (I.e. not just for the purpose of education) in Scotland when the degree starts. So you can move to Scotland and get a free degree if you want. You'd really have to move though (get a job there, send your kids to school, etc), which is why people don't generally do it. Check the SAAS website for more details.

plaingirly Mon 11-Feb-13 07:13:48

:p I can't really move to Scotland!

There are lower level courses on OU but they all seem pretty expensive.

Didn't realise that my BTEC would count for anything - it is in management so nothing to do with the courses I am looking at.

ComposHat Sun 10-Feb-13 23:50:30

Sorry Joan, I thought it would be the same as ordinary degrees.

I stand corrected.

sashh Sun 10-Feb-13 23:45:44

plaingirly

Check out your local FE college, lots do HNC/HND in health and social care which you can then top up to a degree. And they are usually much cheaper than the same at a uni.

JoanByers Sun 10-Feb-13 23:26:03

"Move to Scotland or Wales Alas you have to have completed your secondary education in Scotland to get the free tuition. "

Wrong

"Your fee eligibility is determined by where you are ordinarily resident at the start of the academic year of your first module/qualification with The Open University."

So you can move to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for a year and save £10k.

I'm registered for the Open Degree. It isn't as flexible as I had initially hoped, you have to gain a certain numb of credits at each of levels one, two and three, you can't really do level two or three modules in subjects you haven't studied at Level 1 and can only therefore combine two or three subjects, unless they are pretty closely related. It is still extremely flexible compared to most other degrees though. I am totally undecided what I want to do for my next module at the moment.

JoanByers Sun 10-Feb-13 23:22:05

What a fucking scandal.

I did one 7 years ago, and it cost basically £300 for a 30 point course, £600 for a 60 point course, and a little more for the project option, so in total for a degree the cost was about £4000

Now the cost is exactly £15,000 (and rising year on year).

It seems however, that if you live Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you still pay by the unit at typically £420 for a 30pt or £735 for a 60pt, so the total cost would be under £5,000 for the 360pts.

How the fuck does that work?

ComposHat Sun 10-Feb-13 23:08:46

Move to Scotland or Wales Alas you have to have completed your secondary education in Scotland to get the free tuition.

It makes me livid the OU used to be one of the few ways working class people could get an proper education later in life.

My Uncle completed a degree with the OU when he was working at the pit. It meant he was employable when he was laid off.

Bloody Tories don't have a sodding clue.

WilsonFrickett Sun 10-Feb-13 22:10:52

Your BTEC will count for some course credits too, you wont necessarily have to do the full block of courses.

plaingirly Sun 10-Feb-13 21:07:17

My income is just under £17000 so I don't know what I would qualify for.

The open degree path sounds interesting - picking the modules that most interest me / point me in the right job direction.

elfycat Sun 10-Feb-13 21:03:27

I think the OU will end up being full of younger students who choose it over a bricks&mortar Uni, while working, living with parents etc to keep their student loan down. It's an option we would ask our DDs to consider.

DH has just finished his degree and I'm in the transitional fees bracket with one course left. I wanted to take this year out and start in Sept when DD1 stars school, but I'd have gone onto the expensive fees so persevered. DH would have still done his degree as it was for a career change even at these prices, but I would never have been able to do my degree which was for interest/ sanity while having children.

It's such a shame.

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