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Ou Versus College


abijac
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Hi,

I am wanting to start the foundation degree this year and can not decide whether to do the OU course or apply to college. I know it will be quicker to do the college couse but I'm guessing workload is heavier. Also timing could be difficult attending college in the evening if hubbie is away. However am concerned the OU route will take foreverif I want to do the BA honours as well. Also worried funding will change again as only each section is funded at a time.

Would appreciate fors/againsts for both routes.

Thanks.

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I have done the FD with the OU and I am now topping up to bA with the OU. I have found the OU route very good and they do do their own funding rather than having to rely on Early years. It has taken me 3 years for my foundation degree and another 10 months to toup up to the BA. I found the OU the best route as I did not have to worry about making time to attend college but this does not mean it is an easy option as you are not attending college you need real self dicipline to ensure you keep up to date with the reading and activities otherwise the TMA's (tutor marked assignments) can be a struggle. But if you have the discipline and motivation then the OU is a good option. If I can be of any further help feel free to pm me. Good luck with your decision

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Personally speaking, I need the discipline of going to college every week otherwise my 'last minute merchant' nature would completely overwhelm me!

 

You'll speak to a lot of people on here who have studied successfully with the OU (in fact I don't think I've heard a negative comment about their student support!).

 

I have to say though that when you are down in the mouth and thinking you can't go on, having a good old moan over a cup of hot chocolate in the canteen can't be beaten in terms of raising spirits and confidence!

 

In making your decision, I think you need to look at our needs as a learner, consider how you'll fit it all into your life (and maintain some kind of life while you study!).

 

Good luck with deciding what to do - let us know!

 

Maz

 

PS abijac - have I welcomed you before? If not, welcome to the Forum! :o

Edited by HappyMaz
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Good advice already. Am currently studying with the OU, yet it does seem a long time but it's manageable as its up to me when I study, and can fit round home and work, and I can set the pace. By attending tutorials it is possible to develop friendships with other students (hope they'll agree - I know they're now members of the forum thanks to me banging on about what a life line it is).

 

Good luck whichever way suits you best.

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I am considering doing the foundation degree through the OU for the same reasons as you abijac. My only concern is that I wont have the same level of support from other students that I had when I did my previous course at college. I suppose it's down to individual preference.

 

Sally

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I think it is down to individual preference and there are pros and cons for both :(

 

As many of you know I am an OU fan and have found support to be fantastic. You do develop friendships both 'online' and in person through the face to face tutorials. I started in 2003 and have made friends I continue to keep in touch with even though our study paths have now gone in different directions.

 

I could not commit to attending college one day a week, because the 'college day' is not flexible. As a silly example I don't normally work on Tuesday and have that at home as a study day. Recently due to staff problems I needed to work on a Tuesday. We jiggled the staff rota and I worked but had another day instead as my study day. Had that been a 'college Tuesday' I could well have missed it!

 

I am not criticising colleges at all but another positive thing I find is the 'hours' of the OU. there is always someone around even if you are studying by burning midnight oil! Tutors will respond by phone or email at any time - I have hit a query late at night, sent an email to my tutor and got an instant reply.

 

there is an element of self discipline and time management with OU study but then I think that must be relevant to college study too?

 

For me the main advantage of OU is the flexibility of study - yes they give you a detailed study calendar so you know where you should be to keep on track but I rarely do! As long as assingments are in on time I can have 'time off' from study when I choose and 'catch up' when i choose :o

 

Not an easy decision but good luck with it and do let us know xD

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Hiya :(

I too am at uni and as it was completely alien to me! harvard referencing HUH :o However after nearly completing my first year and having to travel 100 mile round trip to campus i think I could do it with the OU now i know whats expected of me etc however having made friends and the fact we were in it from the start I would miss going. I think xD

Andrea

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Hi

 

I am in my second year of studying the Foundation Degree with Anglia Ruskin University (online distance learning.) I found like others by doing it distance learning it was easier to fit in with work and family. The FD lasts for 2 years with the Anglia Ruskin All the course material is taught online by the tutor. There is also a close community of people doing the same course as you and we use the forums to help each other.

 

It does depend on you and how you learn. It is good to read lots of views and then you can make an informed decision.

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I'm an OU fan too I'm afraid. When I did my level 3 DPP with the PLA a couple of years ago I loved going to college once a week and have kept in touch with fellow students even now.

I was apprehensive about studying at home and wondered how I could organise my time and become disciplined enough to keep up with the studies.

Five months along I am going strong, getting my assignments in on time and availing myself of the OU forums where I can put faces to names on the threads (people I have met at tutorials).

I look forward to completing my FD and hope there are lots more courses for me to study - I'm addicted already!! xD

Good luck in whatever you choose Abijac. :o

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HI I was wanting to do the foundation degree at my local college but I have to wait while I speak to my headteacher next week as it is one and a half days in college and i dont know if the school will release me for this time .

I dont know if any one will give the school funding to release me . eg early years team or lea.

I am going to ask though I thought if they released me I could pay my own tuition fees even though it would be a struggle.

I wish I had done it years ago as I feel my brain has deteriorated as my forties has gone on. :o

I just want to prove to myself that I can do the work involved before Im 50. (this gives me 6 year) ther again I might need all this time xD

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As Geraldine said it is down to individual prefences. I could not cope with the OU way I need structure. I am doing my Foundation Degree at college, I am a part time student taking an extra year (wished I'd done it full time, only one extra lesson). I have attended college 1 day per week, exept this semister of 1 1/2 days.

 

I enjoy attending as this fits my learning style better, execpt today due to staff illness we have had no lessons (hence writing this before 2 pm). This year has been funny due to staffing issues, I feel that we have been a mix of taught lessons and access to moodle (an electronic online resource) but normally college has been fun and interesting.

 

Good luck in what you decide.

 

Beth

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HI I was wanting to do the foundation degree at my local college but I have to wait while I speak to my headteacher next week as it is one and a half days in college and i dont know if the school will release me for this time .

I dont know if any one will give the school funding to release me . eg early years team or lea.

I am going to ask though I thought if they released me I could pay my own tuition fees even though it would be a struggle.

I wish I had done it years ago as I feel my brain has deteriorated as my forties has gone on. :o

I just want to prove to myself that I can do the work involved before Im 50. (this gives me 6 year) ther again I might need all this time xD

 

I have sent you a Personal Message as you live near me

 

Beth

Edited by beth1
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I just want to prove to myself that I can do the work involved before Im 50. (this gives me 6 year) ther again I might need all this time xD

 

I was 48 when I started with the OU :o and had not so much as written an essay since i left school and here I am within sight of the finishing line for a BA in Early Years :(

If my addled brain can do it I am sure anyone can :(:( :wacko:

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Thats good to know geraldine :o well done thats great .

I think its hard to make that initial commitment but I soppose once you get into it its not too bad.

Its only my own lack of ability that holds me back if the school dont release me I have decided I will go through the OU.

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Hi,

I have nearly completed my second year of foundation degree at college. The structure of this course has been terrible as visiting lecturers have come and gone and left us in the lurch however when support is required I can email the core lecturers and receive supportive emails but I personally need to see people face to face and I too need structure to learn.

I am unfortuantely not very well disciplined and need the chats, coffee breaks, chinese meals, phone calls, support from my peers (now friends) from my course who I see on a weekly basis.

When I first started I was at college 1-9pm, so only need half a day off work but the second year I am there 1-6pm. I too intend to continue on the third year which will be a full day.

Having never used the OU I cannot personally comment but I ahve heard nothing but good reviews and the support you will receive from here is fantastic.

 

I think you need to think how you like to learn, can you give up a day to attend college.

 

Whatever you decide, all the best.

 

net xx

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If I pay my own tuition (can be up to £3000 a year with top up fees) I cant afford to give up a days pay as well, as this would leave me down app 250 a month.

Plus I have just bought a new car ( well new to me ) :o .

Ill wait till I speak to the head and then make a decision, O U or college.

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On the financial front if you choose the OU route you pay course by course. My current course is around £600 but this is a level 3 course. The early courses E123/124 were around £250 when I did them but I expect the price has gone up a bit now! The OU offer financial assistance which is assessed according to your income. They also offer Open Univeristy Student Budget Account (OUSBA) whereby the cost of the course is put on your account and paid by monthly direct debit over the duration of the course.

 

Some OU students have their course funded by the transformation fund or their local EYDCP - all sorts of options are out there :o

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I'm now working on the last two modules in my second year of the Foundation Degree and am studying at college.

 

I have had the experience of both college and distance learning as I begun my BA Hons through distance learning and it didn't suit me.

 

It really is a personal decision.

 

I prefer being at college as it has helped with my confidence - I'm one of these people that worry "am I on the right track etc etc" and didn't feel supported through distance learning.

 

I love going to college and have made some good friends from being there and am doing really well. It’s nice to have the support of all the subject tutors as well as peers. The tutors are happy for you to email them when you need to and the college library has been a huge help.

 

I have a days release at college and the school i work at receives £500 towards paying for cover while I'm not there and I receive help with paying for the course through the student finance services. (The finance lady at college knows all the places to go to for help with costs!)

 

What ever decision you make I'm sure you'll enjoy it, It is hard work but is fun at the same time!

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:o

Its great to see some more of the more mature students on the degree courses. I am really enjoying my OU E123 and E124 course. I feel now my youngest is at uni I have the time to think of me! I still love my job and would like to end my career having finally gained a degree in Early Years

Good luck to all

x

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