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    Sorry if this has been asked before..
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    (Original post by Moschino02)
    Sorry if this has been asked before..
    It will, but no-one knows how big the rise will be yet
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    I'm surprised more people are asking this question. I'm rather worried.
    Does anyone know if one can pay in advance for a course and the postpone doing the course until maybe the following year. In other word pay upfont to save fee increases.
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    (Original post by Mojopearl)
    I'm surprised more people are asking this question. I'm rather worried.
    Does anyone know if one can pay in advance for a course and the postpone doing the course until maybe the following year. In other word pay upfont to save fee increases.
    I doubt there'll be significant fee rises until the whole loans system comes into force at the end of 2012. Until then you can be reasonably confident that fees will stay at about the same level they're at now (touch wood)
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    (Original post by Mojopearl)
    I'm surprised more people are asking this question. I'm rather worried.
    Does anyone know if one can pay in advance for a course and the postpone doing the course until maybe the following year. In other word pay upfont to save fee increases.
    We don't know yet unfortunately. All we have so far is that there will be no maintenance for part time students.

    I'm eager to find out:
    1) Will existing students continue under the old system as those who go to traditional universities will do for the most part?
    2) How much will the course fees rise by?
    3) Will OUSBA and upfront payment still be an option, or will we be forced in to loans with early repayment charges?

    I suspect the answers will be no, two to three times the price, up front payment and OUSBA still available. The third is a big one for me. I won't be forced in to paying early settlement fees on a loan I didn't need in the first place.

    I don't expect the materials and computer grants will hang around either.

    This is entirely speculation of course

    I wonder how many have been put off starting with the OU due to uncertainty about the new system.

    This is the latest news on things as far as I'm aware.
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    Not sure if my thinking is simplistic ...

    When you look at the course costs at the minute, there are two prices, one for 'domestic/home' students, and one for foreign (which is higher). This is explained on the OU site by saying that the government subsidises courses for UK students, but foreign must pay in full.

    So logically, to know what any particular course will cost when the subsidy is cancelled, just look at the foreign cost now, and that's what we'll pay in the future (as foreigners in our own country!).

    Work out which courses have the most subsidy, and do them before all this happens.
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    Probably not. Their fees are already a crap load lower than normal campus uni fees
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    (Original post by House of Jonny)
    Probably not. Their fees are already a crap load lower than normal campus uni fees
    My girlfriend is American and doesn't have a European or UK Passport, but she was just rewarded with Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residency) - it doesn't change the fact for her that she needs to pay £9,000 just for the International Foundation Programme in order for her to get accepted into a UK uni!!

    That's £9,000 for a year before the raise, that's what International students pay for 1 year! I told her to take the A levels from home (no more than £300 to pay for each A level!) but she says she needs the traditional system because she doesn't have the mind/motivation to study by herself from home.

    Next year it might be again £9,000 for her, although she is settled in the UK, still, she might need to pay £18,000 just for 2 years of study!!! What the heck??

    With the OU's current prices you can end up getting a full Bachelors Degree for a total of no more than £4,500!!!! - Half of what she pays for one foundation year, can you believe how ridiculous it is!!
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    (Original post by jumperabv3)
    My girlfriend is American and doesn't have a European or UK Passport, but she was just rewarded with Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residency) - it doesn't change the fact for her that she needs to pay £9,000 just for the International Foundation Programme in order for her to get accepted into a UK uni!!

    That's £9,000 for a year before the raise, that's what International students pay for 1 year! I told her to take the A levels from home (no more than £300 to pay for each A level!) but she says she needs the traditional system because she doesn't have the mind/motivation to study by herself from home.

    Next year it might be again £9,000 for her, although she is settled in the UK, still, she might need to pay £18,000 just for 2 years of study!!! What the heck??

    With the OU's current prices you can end up getting a full Bachelors Degree for a total of no more than £4,500!!!! - Half of what she pays for one foundation year, can you believe how ridiculous it is!!
    Some of that didnt make sense. But From what I can see you are pissed off with how high fees are...... Open University is better than campus uni fees wise. What is your GF hoping to study. If your girlfriend doesnt work..... She get Open University Education free I think from what I last read in their prospectus.
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    (Original post by jumperabv3)
    My girlfriend is American and doesn't have a European or UK Passport, but she was just rewarded with Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residency) - it doesn't change the fact for her that she needs to pay £9,000 just for the International Foundation Programme in order for her to get accepted into a UK uni!!

    That's £9,000 for a year before the raise, that's what International students pay for 1 year! I told her to take the A levels from home (no more than £300 to pay for each A level!) but she says she needs the traditional system because she doesn't have the mind/motivation to study by herself from home.

    Next year it might be again £9,000 for her, although she is settled in the UK, still, she might need to pay £18,000 just for 2 years of study!!! What the heck??

    With the OU's current prices you can end up getting a full Bachelors Degree for a total of no more than £4,500!!!! - Half of what she pays for one foundation year, can you believe how ridiculous it is!!

    my dog ate its own **** earlier, this has about as much relevence to the thread as what you said
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    I would say that the biggest influence on the Open University course prices will be the 'Equivalent or Lower Qualifications' policy (ELQ) that was brought in by the last Govt.

    This policy (in my opinion) is fair. It simply states that the Govt. will only pay towards the funding of people who wish to study for a qualification at a higher level than one the already hold. So for example, the funding for undergraduates is only given for those students that do not already hold an undergraduate degree. (with some exceptions for people retraining in some public sector careers e.g. nursing, teaching).

    At the moment the Open University receives money towards every undergraduate student that does not already hold a BSc/BA or equivalent. They used to receive money for all students. So all UK residents do not pay the full cost. It is subsidised.

    What has happened now is that all UK students pay the lower fee, but the OU only get the govt. subsidy for those that don't have a BA/BSc. The OU has decided not to differentiate between these students and charge everyone the same.

    I personally think this is unfair, it means that money that is meant for students without degrees is being used to subsidise the fees of those that do. However that is only my opinion.

    The impact to the OU is that the more graduate students they have studying undergraduate courses the less money they receive 'per student'. So far they seem to have managed this by cost cutting. Removal of those undergraduate courses that are taken by a higher proportion of graduate students and (it seems) reducing the amount of tutor contact and summer schools.

    I cannot see how the Open University can continue in this way. If they become the cheapest place for graduate students to study for a second undergraduate degree then they will end up with more of these students, and therefore further reducing the funding 'per student'.

    I would guess that two things will happen:

    1) There will be a differentiation in price between students with or without first degrees

    2) The availability of loans will allow the OU to increase course fees to a more realistic level for all students

    Both of these (in my opinion) are good things. If you want your teaching to be good, your degree to be worthwhile then the university must have the funds to be able to deliver. There is a serious risk within the university sector that some universities will start to compete on price at the cost of reducing quality of teaching.

    It cannot be a coincidence that the OU lost it's stop spot for 'student satisfaction' after reducing the amount it spent on each course.



    Please do not read this as too negative to the Open University. It is still without doubt the best distance learning institution in the world, with the best support and the best recognition. It's just that I hope that the OU competes on accessibility, quality and teaching rather than cost alone.
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    The OU needs ELQ students as they make up 25% of those studying. Get rid of them and you'll not only have to more in fees to cover the shortfall in funding but you'll also lose some subjects. For example the science department is on a knife edge, it's also a subject (along with maths) that attracts more than the average number of ELQ students. If they cease to study the science and maths departments will go under.

    I agree to a certain extent that ELQ students shouldn't be subsidised by the taxpayer but there needs to be something in place to allow them to study now and pay later. The ELQ situation is an abomination that in one fell swoop it deemed many people to be 'worthless'.
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    Don't get me wrong. I do think that the Open University should absolutely support students that already have degrees, maybe they want to re-train, maybe they just have an interest in a subject which they have never studied before.

    My issue would be with the fact that the ELQ students are paying the same fees as the students that do not have degrees.

    I think that the Open University should have to show that the funding is going to those students that it is aimed at. If some other groups end up benefiting at no extra cost then great. (for example they only need to write the coursebooks once, and I am sure it does not cost that much more if there are a few more students on the course).

    I just hope that the are not planning on making a loss on the ELQ students that is then balanced out using the funding that was supposed to be providing education to those without degrees.

    (Note that I am saying this as someone who has graduated from the Open University, and if I decided to take another degree with them I think that it is fair that I pay more, as they do not get any more government funding for me)
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    (Original post by DouglasBrown)
    Don't get me wrong. I do think that the Open University should absolutely support students that already have degrees, maybe they want to re-train, maybe they just have an interest in a subject which they have never studied before.

    My issue would be with the fact that the ELQ students are paying the same fees as the students that do not have degrees.

    I think that the Open University should have to show that the funding is going to those students that it is aimed at. If some other groups end up benefiting at no extra cost then great. (for example they only need to write the coursebooks once, and I am sure it does not cost that much more if there are a few more students on the course).

    I just hope that the are not planning on making a loss on the ELQ students that is then balanced out using the funding that was supposed to be providing education to those without degrees.

    (Note that I am saying this as someone who has graduated from the Open University, and if I decided to take another degree with them I think that it is fair that I pay more, as they do not get any more government funding for me)
    I assume you'd do that out of interest but what if you decided to take another degree because you're in a low paid job and your current degree is about as useful as sandpaper underpants? This is where the ELQ debate falls down, all it does is cut off the poor in society and leaves them to rot. I believe that ELQ funding will be reinstated in some form within then next 15 years as there becomes more demand for graduates with 'soft' degrees to reskill. That doesn't help the current generation that are being hung out to dry however. The present situation also has an affect on non ELQ students as shown with the OU's funding problems. The OU has no way of supporting ELQ students aside from subsidising them with level fees, but I doubt that will matter much if fees will triple as expected. The worst case scenario is that ELQ student numbers drop to such an extent that fees have to go up as much as four or five times to cover the shortfall and keep less popular modules going.
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    (Original post by DouglasBrown)
    Don't get me wrong. I do think that the Open University should absolutely support students that already have degrees, maybe they want to re-train, maybe they just have an interest in a subject which they have never studied before.

    My issue would be with the fact that the ELQ students are paying the same fees as the students that do not have degrees.

    I think that the Open University should have to show that the funding is going to those students that it is aimed at. If some other groups end up benefiting at no extra cost then great. (for example they only need to write the coursebooks once, and I am sure it does not cost that much more if there are a few more students on the course).

    I just hope that the are not planning on making a loss on the ELQ students that is then balanced out using the funding that was supposed to be providing education to those without degrees.

    (Note that I am saying this as someone who has graduated from the Open University, and if I decided to take another degree with them I think that it is fair that I pay more, as they do not get any more government funding for me)
    But what if you can't afford to pay more?

    Frankly I think the ELQ policy is totally pointless. I fail to see how it is in the Government's interest to only allow people to ever be educated once (re-training is a common requirement) and to shackle their potential to a low paid job for the rest of their days has no discernable social benefit.

    As to the economic imperative, this could be very easily solved by allowing the Universities to choose who they want have on their courses and who they don't. If Universities want to choose a graduate over an A Level candidate why shouldn't they be able to? The current ELQ policy restricts this.

    The worst thing about ELQ policy is that it means if you 'quit' a degree mid-way through, you can never start another one as there is no tuition fee support available.

    It is a policy which states that, whatever your reasons, however committed you are, or however much you might be suited to your chosen second degree (such as Medicine for instance), the Government will not fund you.

    Unless, might I add, you want to train to become a nurse.
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    I don't think there is a problem if you quit a degree and restart. The ELQ funding rules are only concerned with the qualifications you have completed.

    Yes, there needs to be something there for people who cannot afford the full cost. If the budget was larger it would be great if everyone was funded equally. I suppose the question is, if there has to be a rise should all students suffer, or should those who do not already hold a degree have priority?

    The Open University (so far) is keeping the price the same for all UK students studying at undergraduate level. However the cost to the OU is more for the ELQ students. (However as an economics graduate I understand that the marginal cost different per extra student is possibly minimal).

    You may think that the Open University is doing the right thing. However you may also think that of they are given money that is supposed to go towards students without degrees then it is unfair that they are using it to subsidise the cost to other students.

    Note that I am talking mainly about those that earn above the threshold for financial support (which is about £30k). Those that earn below this, quite rightly, are given financial support.
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    (Original post by hmm_what?)
    I assume you'd do that out of interest but what if you decided to take another degree because you're in a low paid job and your current degree is about as useful as sandpaper underpants?
    I would carefully pick a useful MSc/MA course. Which is very, very rarely funded even by a loan. But that is just me (I am in fact looking for MSc courses, but not because my current degree was useless, because I want to keep learning)

    However I do understand your point. There are perfectly valid reasons for wanting to do another undergraduate degree. Question is who should fund it.
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    (Original post by DouglasBrown)

    However I do understand your point. There are perfectly valid reasons for wanting to do another undergraduate degree. Question is who should fund it.
    And that is a question that needs answering. I fully support the idea of the cost of a second degree being entirely upon the student but only repayable after graduation. Perhaps repayable regardless of income and at a real interest rate.
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    (Original post by DouglasBrown)
    I don't think there is a problem if you quit a degree and restart. The ELQ funding rules are only concerned with the qualifications you have completed.
    IIRC you can only get a student loan for a total of four years, I could be wrong though but I'm pretty sure I've seen it mentioned somewhere.

    Note that I am talking mainly about those that earn above the threshold for financial support (which is about £30k). Those that earn below this, quite rightly, are given financial support.
    Could you expand on this point?
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    (Original post by DouglasBrown)
    Note that I am talking mainly about those that earn above the threshold for financial support (which is about £30k). Those that earn below this, quite rightly, are given financial support.
    You're not eligible to apply for financial support if you have an ELQ or are you talking about an ideal situation?
 
 
 
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