The Open University is based in Milton Keynes England. The purpose of the university is to provide university education to the masses. Unlike conventional universities there is no educational or age restrictions.
Another unique aspect of the Open University is the student studies at home during their free time and at their own pace. The study is supplemented by ‘Summer School’. Summer School is a two week period of intense activity in one of the UK universities. Not all courses require a ‘Summer School attendance.
The Open University has expanded over the years to include a wide range of university subjects that will ultimately reach B.A. or M.S.C. standard.
A student is appointed a tutor with whom the student will contact for assignments and advice. All assignments are sent by post to the tutor who will mark and return by post. In addition to two weeks ‘Summer School’, the student will have the opportunity to attend lessons at a local technical college once per week.
Students are asked to pay a fee for their tuition; however, students on welfare payments often have the fees waived. There are also different grants available for the student depending on their circumstances.
In recent times the Open University has offered other courses that in themselves do not achieve a degree. These courses are usually career orientated and provide valuable qualifications in various areas of business.
If studying for a degree, each completed course scores points. Once a certain number of points have been reached a degree will be granted. Courses do not have to be taken consecutively and a degree can be achieved over several years of study.
There is no age limit and some OU students are over seventy years of age. There is also no minimum educational obtainment required. Anyone can apply to the Open University. No one is discriminated against for any reason, all are welcome.
However, it is a first come, first served policy and a new student may not get enrolled in the course of there choice and may have to wait to reapply in a subsequent year. Once enrolled a student has immediate access to courses providing they are not oversubscribed.
The Open University is ideal for people who have missed the chance to go to a regular university. Studying part time allows mothers of young children and people in employment to opportunity to further their education at their own pace and time.