Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Wurzel Of Highbridge

Open University Being Hammered.

Recommended Posts

I was sat here thinking about some poor souls, well quite a lot of poor souls who were encouraged to study 'business studies', generic law, surf science, whale watching etc when they were 18.

Many years have now passed and these people will now find themselves unemployed and underemployed and have a student loan to pay for their worthless degree. So I got thinking, how easy would it be for them to return to education - sitting in lectures for 20 hours per week and taking a few exams to give themselves formal qualifications.

Well, there is no route in the UK higher education system for people who would like to return to university, more importantly for those who's skills are no longer needed / out of date.

So roll on another 10 years there are going to be millions? who would benefit from going back to university/part time study, but this is prohibited by the high fees now required.

Got me to thinking, sure these people could study a new degree from home. Wrong - the fees for Open University are astronomical a sample random course costs £5,000 per year or £15,000+.

http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/qualification/q52.htm

BSc (Honours) Environmental Science

Fees and facts:

Fee 2013/14: At today's prices, the fee for the whole degree is £15,372.

(Our standard fee is £5124 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year’s full-time study at a campus-based university. Most OU students will study part-time at 60 credits a year.)

Ways to pay:

These prices are from studying from home - little tutor time or input. Also borrowing these fees for the above group would be impossible as they already have a student loan.

Well, further thought is that most of this specific group can't pay / wont pay these fees.

The evidence speaks for it's self. (I know alexa is not the best, but the trend is important)

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/open.ac.uk

14xnx1y.jpg

It seems to me that the open university is collapsing under the weight of fees, as people graduate from the current courses I would expect the trend to decrease downwards.

I also doubt that there was ever an Open University bubble as with 'normal universities', but their certainly is a fees bubble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that the open university is collapsing under the weight of fees, as people graduate from the current courses I would expect the trend to decrease downwards.

I also doubt that there was ever an Open University bubble as with 'normal universities', but their certainly is a fees bubble.

Yes, well, got to make sure every door is slammed shut for the proles, don't you know? Sneaking off and improving themselves when they could be working more hours for peanuts. It'll never do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could try coursera, though how much clout doing coursera courses counts for in the UK marketplace I have no idea. Probably not a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't see OU being able to compete with the likes of edX, corsera etc when their current on-line systems (which offer courses for free as the whole system is pretty much a beta test) go 'live' and allow students to earn real qualifications on-line and at probably much lower fees (due to competition and shared resources with the 'real life' courses), unless they lower their fees to suit. Surly given that a few years ago OU fees were much much lower then they are now there is room in the business model to offer courses at much lower cost?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Coalition has completely filleted the OU. They withdrew all teaching subsidy and forced the OU into the same funding structure as every other university. So it's just about affordable if it's your first degree and you're prepared to take on the loan, but if you already have a degree then there's no help and it's up to you to fund yourself. Goodbye career-changers, OU grannies, self-improvers etc.

I was halfway through my degree (maths) when the changes came in, so I get to stay on the old fees under a "transitional arrangements" system - which the OU is funding by themselves to their credit - but after that it will be too expensive for me to try something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't see OU being able to compete with the likes of edX, corsera etc when their current on-line systems (which offer courses for free as the whole system is pretty much a beta test) go 'live' and allow students to earn real qualifications on-line and at probably much lower fees (due to competition and shared resources with the 'real life' courses), unless they lower their fees to suit. Surly given that a few years ago OU fees were much much lower then they are now there is room in the business model to offer courses at much lower cost?

I did an OU MBA which was moderately pricey (was never subsidised) I reckon it cost me about £9k in total which is I suppose a fair price for an AMBA accredited course - a mate of mine did one at Luton (also part-time) which cost him more and wasn't nearly as good as the OU one in terms of course content.

I went back a few years ago and did an OU language course (Mandarin) which was also pretty good value - £444 at the time for a full-year module and could be counted towards another first degree if you were so motivated. However I dropped out becase of work. Went back to do it - it's now £1600 which is a piece of nonsense for a virtual course - a few books, CDs and some online tutorials once a month.

It's not the OU's fault, when they hiked the tuition fees the Coalition deliberately vandalised the OU so it wouldn't be a back door for cheap degrees - essentially ALL the non-science funding was taken away just as it was at normal universities. It basically doesn't have a future in its current form and I doubt it'll be around in a few years' time.

I blame Clegg myself, I can hardly wait for the general election so that I can be seriously rude to the bstards in yellow (Tories or Labour I won't bother my breath with).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surly given that a few years ago OU fees were much much lower then they are now there is room in the business model to offer courses at much lower cost?

But that was when the government subsidised them (along with all other universities).

I think that you will find that the OU fees are considerably cheaper than other universities (5K per year as opposed to 9K per year), and I believe that they hope to pick up a lot of new young undergrads based on this (plus, presumably, they would save by living at home rather than having to pay accommodation at a traditional university),

Peter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine was a part-time lecturer at the OU. He got out as he said he felt the politically correct agenda was to remove the balls of any male working there.

He made a good hourly rate but he said that he spent so much unpaid time marking and preparing lectures that it was not worth it in the end. However, he said that there were loads of permanent staff on eye-watering salaries and pensions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to recall a few threads on the Money Saving Expert forums stating the OU are pretty ruthless in pursuing people for outstanding fees if they drop out of the course they're doing, very little sympathy and debt collection agencies called in at the drop of a hat.

Edited by Paece

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to recall a few threads on the Money Saving Expert forums stating the OU are pretty ruthless in pursuing people for outstanding fees if they drop out of the course they're doing, very little sympathy and debt collection agencies called in at the drop of a hat.

What happens if you drop out of a physical uni 3 year degree course after one year? Surely they don't and can't then chase you for the fees of the remaining years? Does the OU do this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guido has just leaked The Guardians salary grades. Most £35-40k roles which doesn't get you much in central London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only degree young people need today is a degree in Hamburgurology.

The only degree I'd give most of 'em is the third degree...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I blame Clegg myself, I can hardly wait for the general election so that I can be seriously rude to the bstards in yellow (Tories or Labour I won't bother my breath with).

I honestly thought that the Lib Dems were the 'pro-Student' party, especially with the 'no tuition fees' policy. Stupid, I know..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly thought that the Lib Dems were the 'pro-Student' party, especially with the 'no tuition fees' policy. Stupid, I know..

On the plus side, in under 2 years the Lib Dems are going to give the UK political class a practical demonstration of what happens when you ostentatiously promise the young something and then break your word. Might encourage les autres to start thinking about what will go down well in 2020, a general election in which the median voter will have been born in about 1978.

Edited by Dorkins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there was a proper education system for all to begin with there would not be a need for degrees...not that most degrees are needed. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the plus side, in under 2 years the Lib Dems are going to give the UK political class a practical demonstration of what happens when you ostentatiously promise the young something and then break your word.

clegg-fees-pledge1.jpg

Edited by Errol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there was a proper education system for all to begin with there would not be a need for degrees...not that most degrees are needed. ;)

Yes this is madness - adding a rubbish education onto a rubbish education. My partners son (20) thinks it will all be over in 5 years and back to the very few going to university. I'll believe him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any companies that simply offer an exam and marking service? The idea being that they publish a loose recommended curriculum for the subject, then it's up to the student to learn it by themselves. They pay for a seat at the exam(s) and wait for a mark. A sort of no frills qualification. The costs would surely be much lower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any companies that simply offer an exam and marking service? The idea being that they publish a loose recommended curriculum for the subject, then it's up to the student to learn it by themselves. They pay for a seat at the exam(s) and wait for a mark. A sort of no frills qualification. The costs would surely be much lower.

If not there should be, and I am sure many would join up to it....and all the major employers to sign up to it....knowing at the end of it they get what they wish for and are ready and willing to pay for.....a job at the end of all the efforts and hard work, but still solvent without a bounty left to pay for forever and a day. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any companies that simply offer an exam and marking service? The idea being that they publish a loose recommended curriculum for the subject, then it's up to the student to learn it by themselves. They pay for a seat at the exam(s) and wait for a mark. A sort of no frills qualification. The costs would surely be much lower.

I think a condition of being granted a university charter by the government should be that anybody must be allowed to take the full set of end of year undergraduate exams in a given subject upon payment of a fee to cover the examination and marking costs, and if the marks gained are high enough then that person must be awarded the degree. For subjects with a practical component the degree conferred would be "X (Written Examination Only)" rather than "X". Universities would be under no obligation to provide teaching materials or any practical assistance beyond telling registered examinees the date, time and location of the examinations.

It shouldn't be necessary to actually faff about in student halls or pay some student HMO landlord's mortgage for 3 or 4 years to show to future employers that you know how to do calculations or write an essay to bachelors degree standard.

Edited by Dorkins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked with an ex-RAF chap who had done an OU engineering degree for free, courtesy of the forces.

He was a nice chap, but couldn't engineer his way out of a paper bag. Rapidly talked himself into a team leader position.

He passed at 2:1 level, & had apparently been told that he only narrowly missed a 1st. However, he didn't seem to be able to understand basic mathematical or engineering concepts, which seemed very odd. He told me they were allowed to take anything they liked into exams.

It does make me wonder about the value of OU degrees.

He did have lovely handwriting though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes this is madness - adding a rubbish education onto a rubbish education. My partners son (20) thinks it will all be over in 5 years and back to the very few going to university. I'll believe him.

I agree - and then once only the rich can send their kids to uni a bunch of tax breaks/grants will be introduced. Proles not eligible, of course. Lots of young people going to university used to suit the powers that be because it kept them off the dole figures for a few years. Now they'll all be on zero hours contracts or paying for it themselves.

The OU, like other universities, no longer represents good value for money. My post graduate course with the OU was pretty bad - massively out of date course materials and about an hour of tutor contact and an A4 sides' worth of written feedback for the entire year. The thought of paying £5K for it is just ridiculous.

They will get their asses kicked once the online alternatives in the US start awarding their own degrees and charging much less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1376319825[/url]' post='909374307']

Yes, you're right: "The Open University, which provides degree courses by distance learning, will have among the lowest fees in England."

It was alsothe highest rated uni for overall student satisfaction in the National Students Survey 2012. So wouldn't write them off just yet.

(The top 3 - St Mary's University College, Belfast; Guildhall School of Music & Drama; and Courtauld Institute of Art do not hold university status.)

I'm glad the students are satisfied with their education, but more interested in whether or not employers are happy with the standards. How does the OU rate compared to the decent universities. Any employers willing to elaborate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   218 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.