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The home advantage: studying with distance education

You don’t have to travel overseas to get a world-class education. Many leading universities around the world also offer distance education – which means you can study the same course that students receive on-campus, but from your own home.

It’s an ideal solution if you have work or family commitments, and it does save on travel expenses. But you need to think first about whether distance education is right for you.

Distance learning has come a long way from the old correspondence courses – thanks to the internet. But it also has some unique challenges for students. To do well in your studies, you need to be self-motivated. You will need to make time every day, and every week, for your coursework and assignments – which can be hard when you’re balancing it with all those other commitments.

You will also need to make an extra effort to connect with your fellow students and teachers. Technology makes this much easier – most courses will encourage discussions through online forums and learning groups.

How does it work?

The University of New England, in Armidale, Australia, has had extensive experience in teaching by distance. If you choose to study there from your home, you’ll receive a range of course materials to support your study, such as textbooks, CD-ROMS, DVDs and access to online materials. Each unit requires a 15 hour per week commitment, and you would usually take 2 units per semester. You have email and online contact with your lecturers, tutors and fellow students, and the online university can even mail your library books to you.

Making friends

The University of Southern Queensland, in Australia, has been at the forefront of distance learning for many years. Now, 17,000 students study off-campus in 80 countries – that’s 75% of their total students! USQ encourages students to form ‘learning circles’. These are an informal group of three to ten students from the same region, who can keep in touch by phone and email, or even meet in person.

This way, you can still form friendships with other students, and also share books and resources.

Designed for independent learning

The University of London also offers distance education through its External Program. You can choose from over 100 undergraduate and postgraduate internationally recognised diplomas and degrees. 34,000 students are studying this way, from over 190 countries – which makes London one of the largest universities in the UK.

Your study materials have been designed specifically for distance learning, and you will also pay a lower fee than students studying on-campus. You can take your exams in a centre near your home, but all papers are returned to London for marking.

Anusha Lewis studied a BSc Banking and Finance with the University of London’s External Program. She says; “I could study when it suited me, and I really enjoyed the flexibility. Options in Sri Lanka were limited… I wanted a degree from a recognised and high quality university.” During her study, she moved to Ottawa – but could keep studying independently. “It just requires self-discipline, perseverance and good time management,” she says.

Flexible entry

Although most distance courses require you to meet the same entry standards as an on-campus student, there are no entry requirements for studying with Open Universities Australia. Specialising in online education, this service is owned by seven leading Australian universities: Curtin University of Technology, Griffith, Monash, Swinburne, University of South Australia, RMIT and Macquarie University.

IELTS preparation is just one the 100 subject areas available at Open Universities Australia – is a flexible way to improve your IELTS score and gain confidence without leaving home. You can study individual units from any of the universities, or combine units towards a degree. If you do complete a degree, you graduate from the university offering the program – the same diploma as any on-campus student.

It makes sense to consider all your options when you are choosing a university or course overseas. But make sure you have the motivation to complete your studies – it’s easy to be distracted when you’re still at home!

For more information on distance education, talk with one of our StudyLink Student Counsellors today.

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how much will it cost for me to take the distant learning?
what will be the mode of payment?

Thank you very much.

i'm from india.i want to know that can i get good job in india? if i do bba from abroad at distance level.what is its processer?

Well, I understand that distance education is being made attractive by universities around.But I want to know two things:what are the costs and what are the placement opportunities available for students completing these type of courses,especially professionals with lots of experience in some sector or other.

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