The rise of online learning – who needs Uni?

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Traditionally, the most popular way to gain higher education qualifications was to go to university. Many students enjoy the opportunities that university provides, both educationally and socially. However, for those who don’t want to study full time, due to work or other commitments, or just want to gain qualifications without the whole university experience, there is another, increasingly popular option – online learning.

How can people learn online?

The idea of online learning is that students can easily access all of the resources and course materials that they need for study from home. Courses are usually split into units, and students can access all of the material for each unit online, so that they can work through it as quickly or as slowly as they wish. Once the student has completed a unit, they will be sent a test or assignment, which they will send off to be marked by an online tutor. If the student passes the module, they can move on to the next one.

Why do some people prefer to learn online?

Learning online allows greater flexibility than university, as students can study at any time and any place they like. This makes it ideal for people who want to study part time whilst working, and also for people who have families or other commitments. Although university can be a great opportunity, it is not for everyone – some people don’t like the idea of a student lifestyle, or of the student debt that comes with it. Learning online offers them the chance to gain the qualifications they want, and work at the same time, therefore reducing the cost of their studying. In addition, many online courses offer students the option to spread their payments, making learning more accessible than it has ever been.

Can you learn the same courses online as you could at university?

Some people might be surprised to find out that many of the courses that are on offer at university can also be studied online. Online learning offers perhaps even more choice than university, and students can choose from a wide range of general qualifications such as GCSEs, to more specialist qualifications such as those recognised by the Institute of the Motor Industry. However, not all of the degree courses available at university can be studied online, although there is a good selection, from nursing to business management.

What are the benefits of learning online?

There are many benefits of learning online. The main benefit is flexibility – with online learning, students can learn when they like, where they like and however they like. Online learning offers people the chance to gain valuable qualifications, which can help them to get where they want to be – either in a completely different career, or as a progression in their current career. Qualifications are invaluable for those trying to get in to work, and companies are much more likely to employ a candidate with qualifications over one without.


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