The traditional way of receiving tertiary education is by enrolling at a university for a diploma or a degree. Not anymore. Over the past decade, distance learning has grown in popularity as a means of obtaining a qualification. Studying part-time has become an alternative for many people who are currently employed and wish to further their education. If you are not familiar with the concept of distance learning and the benefits thereof, then this article is cut out for you especially.
One of the main reasons people study in the distance learning mode is that it is a lot less expensive than studying full-time on-campus at a university. You will also save money on tuition fees and textbooks as it is included in your course fee. There is no need to commute, so students save on gas or public transport costs. Another huge benefit in my opinion is that you don’t need expensive accommodation as is the case with full-time students. I remember when I was a student, just to find a place to stay that is close to campus was already a mission on its own.
It is also very convenient as you study in the comfort of your own home, at your own time and at your own pace. Although you can attend classes at a learner support centre, it is not compulsory. Classes, presentations and even past exam papers are also made available on the website which can be downloaded and read at a later stage when it is convenient for you to do so. Students receive their study material via post, courier, e-mail or the internet and assessments are carried out via written assignments. At the end of each semester, students will then sit for examinations.
Earn while you learn
To carry on working and earning an income while you study is most probably the strongest reason why most people turn to distance learning. Although some people will argue that it is much more difficult than studying full-time, you actually have more time to complete the course. By this I mean that a three-year degree full-time can be completed in four or five years on a part-time basis. And as with many other things in life, you will need to plan your time wisely, be very self-disciplined and organized seeing that you don’t have other students around you for support, and no lecturers constantly checking up on how you are progressing.
At North-West University’s Unit for Open Distance Learning, courses are tailor-made and specifically designed for people who are employed. Comprehensive study guides are also compiled to give direction. Many of our diploma and certificate courses roll over into a higher qualification. For example, if you complete one of our certificate courses, you may enrol for the diploma course, after which you can go further for a degree or even an Honours degree.
Bear in mind that when you make the decision to study, you’ve taken the first step towards changing the course of your future – which is hugely motivating in itself. When enrolling at NWU’s Unit for Open Distance Learning you will accomplish just that, and the sky is the limit.
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