The Open University wants to help school-leavers from Northern Ireland achieve their higher education ambitions.
The Open University is holding an Open Day at the Hilton Hotel, Belfast on Tuesday between 2-7pm to provide information on OU courses and finance for prospective students, before clearing processes get underway.
A growing number of young people are choosing to study with The Open University on a full-time or part-time basis. As there are no formal entry requirements for most Open University degrees, it provides a viable option for pupils in Northern Ireland. The OU’s supported open learning model also allows young people to fit studying around other commitments, which is vitally important as tuition fees rise.
Mr John D’Arcy, Director of The Open University in Ireland, speaking from headquarters in Belfast, said, “Over the last five years, we have seen a massive 42% increase in young students under 25 from Northern Ireland studying with the Open University, which speaks volumes about the quality and flexibility of the courses we offer.
“The OU has won multiple awards for its learning technology – from iTunes University downloads to inventive virtual worlds. The curriculum enables practical subjects like science or engineering to be taught in an exciting, modern and engaging way and I would urge any interested students to come along to the Open Day or get in touch with us at 110 Victoria Street – our Belfast office.”
Mr D’Arcy emphasised the further benefits of being able to ‘earn while you learn’ for school-leavers choosing to study at The Open University: “We know that more young people are choosing to study with the OU as our flexible provision allows them to pursue their chosen career while gaining a degree.
“This will give them a head start on students going to a full-time university and help to avoid getting into debt to get their degree. The OU has a range of financial options for young students. If they live with their parents, or are earning less that £16,865, they may have nothing to pay.”
“Moreover, the fact that The Open University has been voted number one for student satisfaction each year bar one since 2005 is testament to the quality of the learning experience that our students receive. It also clearly illustrates how The OU continues to adapt to the requirements of its students, to allow them to get on with whatever else is happening in their lives.
“For example, several OU students are currently competing in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, including gold medallists, Dani King and Etienne Stott.”