Lesson 4 - RW, Culture - EDUCATION - Page1

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Read the excerpts from a British Council article about distance learning in the UK.

You can find the full text of this article at


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Distance learning

If you’re worried that studying for a degree is going to cost too much you might want to consider doing it by distance learning.

Many students, who would once have left home to go to university, are now preferring to choose distance learning as an alternative to conventional study. There are many reasons for this.


Distance learning is generally more affordable than conventional study because savings in physical infrastructure (eg. classrooms, recreation facilities) are often passed on to students. Additionally, distance learning allows you to make considerable savings in travelling and living costs.


One major advantage of distance learning is that you are not usually required to attend any classes. This means you are free to choose where, when and how you study. You are responsible for organising your study schedule. As a result, you can fit your studies around whatever else is happening in your life; whether that means work, or family or social commitments. Some courses do, however, require you to attend taught classes at certain times of the year. It pays, therefore, to find out before you make any commitment. Course requirements vary a lot and you should choose the one that most suits your needs.


Increasingly, employers are recognising that students who study by distance learning make excellent employees. This is because distance learning develops certain talents and skills that employers find very attractive. Distance learners have to be self-starters; they need to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and resourceful to succeed. These are precisely the qualities that many employers look for.


If you study with a reputable university, the qualification you gain should be of an identical high standard as that awarded to a campus-based student. At the University of London, which has offered distance learning for almost 150 years, absolutely no compromise is made on quality. The qualification students receive as external students of the university is of an identical standard to that awarded to a student who has studied at one of its many colleges. Academics who teach college-based students also develop syllabuses, prepare study materials and set and mark examinations for external students.

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