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

benbobaggins Sun 10-Feb-13 19:13:17

you can get all sorts of funding/student loans, don't write it off until you've had a look

Chottie Sun 10-Feb-13 19:14:33

Would your firm pay part of it? or give you an interest free loan? and take the payments from your salary before tax?

Fairyegg Sun 10-Feb-13 19:15:40

You Can't get any funding if you already have a degree even if it is a very poor one In a shit subject I too was shocked at the cost and of other online courses like the nec.

KobayashiMaru Sun 10-Feb-13 19:16:21

they went up a lot over the last few years as subsidies were removed.

Sharpkat Sun 10-Feb-13 19:18:06

It is outrageous these days. Fortunately I started on the old fees so am able to finish my degree on the old fees otherwise I would never have finished it.

There is no funding available if you already have a degree.

It means lots of people can now not afford to study with them which is so disappointing.

lubeybooby Sun 10-Feb-13 19:18:19

You have to aply for a student loan now for them same as if you want to an actual university, which are paid back on the same basis, when you earn over a certain amount, a certain percentage of your income pays it back

There used to be a lot of funding but it got pulled last year.

StuntGirl Sun 10-Feb-13 19:19:32

Could you look into things like a career development loan or your company paying some/all of it?

Are there alternate routes into the career you're looking at, or similar roles which don't require specific qualifications?

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 19:21:52

They went up a huge amount last year. I had been thinking of doing a unit just for my own interest but never got round to it. Now it's quite out of the question because of the huge fee increases. But you might qualify for funding or a loan or work may be willing to help with the costs.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 10-Feb-13 19:22:19

£2500 a year doesn't sound unreasonable. How much do you think it should cost?

SwedishEdith Sun 10-Feb-13 19:32:51

Yes, but the £2500 can often mean no tutorials and sometimes no textbooks (that's the way the OU is heading). I couldn't afford to do it now for what started as studying just because I wanted to learn about something.

They more than doubled last year, I think all universities were able to put them up. I decided to do one unit just for interest and was lucky that I did it when I did because that entitles me to carry on with other modules at the old rate.

I suspect it is still cheaper than doing it at a conventional university though.

sannaville Sun 10-Feb-13 19:35:47

I dis an ou degree and luckily got it all funded (as I earned below a certain amount) except for my final year when I paid 500 for that year. They do have grants available but depends what you earn etc. All books were included when I studied except for the odd one you had to buy. Was very good and am pleased I did it they do have ways to pay monthly as well

sooperdooper Sun 10-Feb-13 19:35:50

I was shocked too, I looked into doing a masters and the costs were much higher than I expected, and I couldn't even get a student loan to cover the fees

SilentMammoth Sun 10-Feb-13 19:38:51

I had a look this week and quickly navigated away!

ArbitraryUsername Sun 10-Feb-13 19:42:31

It wasn't that subsidies were removed; it was government policy re: HE funding that meant OU fees had to rise (like everyone else's). The OU didn't want to do it but they had no choice. It costs an unbelievable amount for the OU to produce the textbooks, learning activities to accompany the textbooks, course websites, audiovisual learning materials etc, as well as to provide student support (for students who often need considerably more support than those at traditional universities) and to do all the stuff that has to be done every year in a university: setting different assignments and exam questions, etc (things like exams and assignments cost a lot more for the OU because they have to have multiple exam centres, all staffed, the markers are very dispersed, the student numbers are huge and moderation/second marking work is very resource intensive).

There's a lot more to it than just posting you a textbook and leaving you to get on with it.

You can apply for the same kind of loans etc that students at all universities can. There is absolutely no need to get a career development loan - you will be better off with a standard student loan. Previously part time students couldn't get normal student funding, but now they can.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 10-Feb-13 19:44:56

I think you have to get a student loan to pay for the OU now. sad

The grants that covered the full cost (for people on low incomes/benefits) are no longer available AFAIK.

ArbitraryUsername Sun 10-Feb-13 19:44:57

Note: it wasn't that all universities were able to put fees up; they all had to. The government withdrew almost all the funding that they used to give universities for teaching (indeed, all the funding for non-STEM courses) and told the, they had to make up the difference through fees. It costs a lot to run a degree programme so the fees are now very high.

chicaguapa Sun 10-Feb-13 19:47:16

It is a shame they've gone up so much. It's a fantastic university with quality materials. I understand why the prices have gone up and they're still half the price of a brick uni and you get to live at home while you study.

I finished my degree with them last year and would love to have done another course for interests sake only, but couldn't justify the costs. I'll bet they've lost a lot of students now.

smokinaces Sun 10-Feb-13 19:52:07

I started with ou last September. Each module of thirty is £1250. I need 360 credits. So its expensive. And im doingit through student loans.

However, the materials, tutorials etc are excellent. I cannot fault the support and the sheer volume of textbooks and dvds I've had for just level one modules.

smokinaces Sun 10-Feb-13 19:52:45

But Yanbu. I did have to think long and hard to get into £15k of debt

niminypiminy Sun 10-Feb-13 19:56:02

What Arbitrary Username said. Plus, five years ago now the then Labour Government decided that there would be no government funding for students who already had a degree to do another one (so the government took away the money it gave the university for teaching you). When this government decided to cut the money for university teaching in the arts and humanities, they also decided to make students who already have a degree ineligible for loans for tuition fees, so if you already have a degree in, say, business studies and want to retrain as a history teacher, you will have to pay the full fees upfront -- which no other undergraduates have to.

JeezyOrangePips Sun 10-Feb-13 20:00:09

Move to Scotland or Wales.

ArbitraryUsername Sun 10-Feb-13 20:00:16

Yes, the withdrawal of funding for those who had previous degree level qualifications hit the OU hard, and then the total withdrawal of funding made it worse. They really did try to keep the fees to a minimum because the people who run and work in the OU really do believe in providing education that's accessible to all.

They will have lost loads of students though, particularly among retirees doing courses out of interest and nothing else. You have to be seriously interested to pay £2.5k for a 60 credit module (or be doing it to improve your earning power and all the standard reasons for doing a degree).

Meglet Sun 10-Feb-13 20:02:40


They rocketed last year. The short courses used to be £200 and are now approx £600. I've only scraped in at the lower price as I registered for OU before the cut off date, it's shit for any new appplicants.

I don't have a degree but will have to pay for the lower point courses (around 300-500 for mine) until I feel able to manage a free higher point course.

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