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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

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.

ArbitraryUsername Mon 11-Feb-13 07:57:14

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.

ArbitraryUsername Mon 11-Feb-13 07:58:40

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.

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.

ArbitraryUsername Mon 11-Feb-13 10:25:23

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

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

you have to have lived in scotland for last 2 years

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.

ArbitraryUsername Mon 11-Feb-13 12:05:06

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.

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.

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.

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

Phone the OU. They're very helpful.

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

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

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

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

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


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.

ArbitraryUsername Wed 13-Feb-13 10:38:56

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.

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.

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