Open University Flourishes

    December 20th 2010, 4:35am - Posted by Administrator

  • Who could have thought in 1969 that Open University would become one of the most prestigious universities in UK and many other countries would follow the idea of 'open learning for everyone' in the following days. It was a time when universities were making their admission criteria stricter and many adults were turned away by the conventional universities for their age. The first admission in Open University was registered in 1971 with an open admission policy. For most undergraduate courses, prior education was not taken into account.

    After 40 years of it's first televised lecture for matured students, Open University is becoming increasingly popular among young and mature and, in many cases, elderly people. A recent increase in the influx of admission applications began two years ago when recession hit economy caused mass lay offs and economically affected masses turned to Open University to get affordable education.

    The university has revealed the surge of students enrolling in Open University and visiting it's website since 2008. The number of people visiting its site through mobile phone and computers has increased ten times which clearly indicates the growing popularity of the university among students.

    Increasing tuition fees and the pledge of improved access to loans for part-time students

    Seems to be the main driving force behind the shift of the trend from traditional learning to open learning among students. Most of OU's students are those part-time students who can't afford to study full-time or they are strapped for time due to their professional or social commitments. When universities raise their tuition fees to £9,000 a year in 2012, the prospects of a huge number of students opting OU over The Russell Group's prestigious universities will be higher than ever before.

    OU officials tell many incidents of students taking up higher education with OU instead of indulging in heaps of debt to go to a traditional university. OU's fees is significantly lower than mainstream campus universities, which is, perhaps, the biggest reason for more and more students flocking to OU in the past three years. If the recession stays longer, OU is likely to receive an overwhelming number of students in future.

    The Open University has many times admitted publicly that demands for part-time studies has never been greater. An increase of 11% in enrolment for degree came about for 2009/10 academic year. Whereas overall enrollment swelled by 23%. The projected rise in students enrollment is 10% as per OU's forecast.

    National Student Survey has ranked OU the highest in students' satisfaction for last four years in a row. The success and importance of OU is evident from the fact that it began it's enrollment for 25,000 in 1971 and now has reached 250,000, which includes more or less 20,000 out of the UK.

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