Tesco vouchers Watch

AnnB
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Has everyone seen the notice about the Tesco vouchers? you will only be able to use them for level 1 courses from 1st June.
I don't know how many people this will affect but it will have a huge impact on me. I am going to have to change my plans for my degree that I am half way through. After this year my plan was to do 3 courses each year and 2 or 3 of them are going to be VERY expensive business courses. What does everyone else think?
If anyone is interested there is a facebook group called Tesco - every little doesn't help OU students!
Please join if this affects you.
Thanks
Ann
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Lunarsea
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It doesn't affect me but I will join the group as I really don't see why they have done this and it seems unfair. Is it Tesco that has decided this or the OU? The notice on StudentHome wasn't very clear in that respect.
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h82think
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(Original post by Lunarsea)
It doesn't affect me but I will join the group as I really don't see why they have done this and it seems unfair.
:ditto:
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devilcrack
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If you're really spending that much money at Tesco to pay for your course through clubcard points, perhaps its time to cut down on the shopping instead.
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AnnB
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(Original post by devilcrack)
If you're really spending that much money at Tesco to pay for your course through clubcard points, perhaps its time to cut down on the shopping instead.
I certainly do not overspend, but when you are buying food for a family and petrol it certainly mounts up. I also have a tesco credit card (which I pay off every month) onto which all of my shopping goes. I also have family members who kindly use my clubcard when doing their shopping so that I can fund my courses. I also use sites like 'paid to shop' which have forums on how to maximise tesco clubcard points!

So I am already very careful with money - I just know how to maximise my tesco points too!!
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SunburnedCactus
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Now covered by the BBC in a fairly unenlightening manner http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8500258.stm
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Moggs
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Hmm silly question, but if you earn under 16k, don't you get £1500 per year? (£1250 for the courses and £250 for materials) Wouldn't this do the job instead of the vouchers, leaving an excess of just a few hundred pounds a year for even the most expensive courses?
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AnnB
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I am in Scotland and I believe the funding rules are different. I get nothing!!
I wouldn't have a problem if we could take out student loans like students at other universities.
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SunburnedCactus
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The funding rules are the same up here but the courses are just paid for rather than there being a monetary amount, and no grants for other stuff unless you're on benefits afaik.

There is the option of OUSBA as an alternative to student loans.
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devilcrack
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(Original post by AnnB)
I certainly do not overspend, but when you are buying food for a family and petrol it certainly mounts up. I also have a tesco credit card (which I pay off every month) onto which all of my shopping goes. I also have family members who kindly use my clubcard when doing their shopping so that I can fund my courses. I also use sites like 'paid to shop' which have forums on how to maximise tesco clubcard points!

So I am already very careful with money - I just know how to maximise my tesco points too!!
Just cut down on the ice cream and you'll be good to go.
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lupinpooter
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I'm not joining the group. I do feel sorry for those affected by the decision, but the OU is facing massive cuts and this scheme isn't a priority. I get the impression that the scheme has been more successful than anticipated, and perhaps the OU weren't aware that people can - perfectly legitimately - 'play' the clubcard system to amass points. I have to say I was wondering how on earth anyone could afford to fund a course using clubcard points alone when you'd need to spend £10,000 to reap £400 in reward vouchers. I didn't realise there are websites out there like paidtoshop and moneysavingexpert which tell you how to rack up the points in other ways.

Anyway I think people should remember that this scheme costs the OU, and in the present (bleak) climate for HE, continuing the scheme across the board would mean someone else losing out elsewhere. I'd rather the OU spent the money on tutor provision or supporting students on the lowest incomes.

I do think the timing is a bit crap though: the university should have timed the change to coincide with the next clubcard statement date (rather than just before) so that those affected could at least make use of the points they've been collecting for their courses.
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Moggs
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(Original post by lupinpooter)
I do think the timing is a bit crap though: the university should have timed the change to coincide with the next clubcard statement date (rather than just before) so that those affected could at least make use of the points they've been collecting for their courses.
I think you can call Tesco and ask them to send the points early. Pretty sure I did this before for some reason, though I can't remember why. This should solve the problem of just missing the deadline. Though that still leaves an interesting gap to most starts, unless it's possible to register and pay with them in advance if done before the deadline.

SBC has a point too. If the funding is the same, go for financial support, combining with OUSBA if needed. There's always a career development loan too, though I don't know the ins and outs.
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lupinpooter
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Yes, you can certainly pay for courses starting in Jan/Feb 2011 before the offer ends: there are no fees up on the website for those courses at the moment, but I think they appear mid-March and you can pay as of then.

Good point about getting the points early: I don't shop in Tesco so didn't know you could do this.

I guess the people this will hit are those who are just over the income threshold for financial support (which is something like £30K) and who have high outgoings (maybe using Tesco for business purchases or shopping for a large family: you'd need a large family to spend £10K+ per year in Tesco!)

I don't know about CDLs for OU study, but OUSBA is a good option, I would've thought. I think the interest rate is very low and I've heard it's not credit checked.
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Lunarsea
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I've changed my stance on this subject over the week. I'm becoming increasingly less supportive of the cause and the group. Additionally I don't think any OU students should be particularly supportive of the voucher scheme, even if it has been of assistance. I've turned this post into an essay but I just thought I would put forward my many reasons for this.

Initially I joined in support of the students that couldn't afford to continue with their degrees because of the scheme ending, just to say that I sympathised and hoped they found another means for their study. However, I disagree with the smear campaign tactics by the group, as they seem to be directing the majority of their bad press towards the OU at possible detriment to the reputation of the university through few faults of its own and not Tesco, many people on the group can't seem to look into why there have to be cuts and the general attitude of some of the members.

The OU is badly hit by the latest government HE cuts. Not only to the cuts in general HE funding but it is also being hit by the Government's decision to stop funding students taking ELQs - qualifications at an equivalent, or lower, level than those they already hold. Almost 30,000 of the university's students fall into this category, worth a total of £40 million in funding. So the OU has effectively lost 30,000 students already. This changes the voucher scheme because the OU don't get enough in course costs back from Tesco (they are thought 50% of what is paid for in vouchers for courses, which is a lot of money the OU loses). It seems to me Tesco could have given more but I suppose that may make prices rise in store for Tesco shoppers so that's not really fair either.

I must admit, I still disagree with the OU's use of the alliance with Tesco because they admitted that they implemented it to "hook" students in when they may not have considered a degree previously (mostly it seems because they couldn't afford it), that the OU always had a set 3 year end date for the scheme but never told the students and they even advertised the scheme in the last issue of Sesame which I felt was misleading as the OU was intending to cancel it imminently. However, smearing the reputation of the university in the press is unacceptable if the university has to remove this scheme because it has become unaffordable, therefore a detriment to the education and student support across the university which is being forced to cut courses, residential schools, staff and is a massive problem for EVERY student then, however unfortunate the removal of the voucher scheme is to some students, it needs to be removed.

Sorry for the essay and generally badly constructed post. You can tell I don't often debate on here :p: but I felt I had to give my reasons for withdrawing my support from this cause. I'm sorry, Ann B and any other students that used the vouchers but that is my feeling on the subject at present.
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AnnB
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#15
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(Original post by devilcrack)
Just cut down on the ice cream and you'll be good to go.
Very mature!!
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