Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Community Assistant
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    I think the OP did say they have some health issues which could potentially make attending a brick uni difficult. I know personally the support I had from the OU with my disability issues was brilliant and whenever I had an issue I just had to pop over an email and someone would be right back- I’m at a brick uni now and although the support I get is okay when I can get it when I’m having a crisis a ten minute appointment 2 weeks next Thursday isn’t going to be much use! I can’t speak for all brick unis of course but the experience at the brick uni I’m at is fine if you’re 18 and able bodied but if you’re neither of those you’re stuffed.

    I’m doing a very specific topic for my MA and although my supervisors are good again there is very little support. Fortunately- I’m okay with that, the OU has taught me how to get my head down and get on with it so I don’t need continual support.

    Brick unis aren’t designed for those who need a lot of support or who have serious health issues- as I discovered at Nottingham Uni when i contracted an illness that led to cancer and was kicked off the course. I was told because it was a specific female cancer I had they couldn’t take it into account as they could only take into account conditions that an average student male or female could have- so if I had had something like leukaemia it would have been okay! The students union helped me mount a legal challenge on the grounds of gender discrimination which I won but this is the sort of things that brick unis do. Brick unis are not suitable for everyone- I’m looking at going back to the OU for my PhD as I really hate my brick uni so much. I only stay because it’s such a specific topic that I’m studying that I can’t find an equivalent in the OU. I know you say OU students overstate how good the OU is and if you want to think that then fine but I’m having such a horrible experience that frankly the OU is absolutely miles ahead!
    The bit in bold was clearly an awful experience but I don't think it's reflective of the pastoral and disability support offered at most brick universities. I've never heard of anything like that happening before, it sounds like an isolated incident to be honest. To say "that's the sort of thing bricks do" is just not true.

    The OU is a perfectly good option, and as I've said, the degree is well respect by employers, but I think the OP should explore all options. The OU might work for them, but so might other places.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Snufkin)
    The bit in bold was clearly an awful experience but I don't think it's reflective of the pastoral and disability support offered at most brick universities. I've never heard of anything like that happening before, it sounds like an isolated incident to be honest. To say "that's the sort of thing bricks do" is just not true.

    The OU is a perfectly good option, and as I've said, the degree is well respect by employers, but I think the OP should explore all options. The OU might work for them, but so might other places.
    Not just that one I had trouble with. It seems to me brick unis really struggle to support those with chronic health problems and/or disabilities. I feel like a naughty child when I have to dash out of seminars because I’m having a massive panic attack- I was told worryingly by the support worker assigned to help me orientate at the beginning of term that despite things being documented and supposedly communicated to course leaders they rarely are.

    I have all kinds of provisions supposedly in place but no-one knows about them and I’ve discovered dashing out of a seminar turns heads. I cannot articulate myself very well by speech and so this is why these things are supposed to be communicated for me- when I was with the OU we had to sign up for tutorials and every single tutor who had my name on their list would get my detailed disability record and would know exactly what to do if I started behaving oddly or feeling unwell.

    Last seminar I had I could feel the beginnings of a panic attack come on and I managed to calm myself down, take a sip of water from my bottle and breathe evenly again but not before everyone had turned round to gawp.

    I’ve already had some very unkind experiences- I know I’m different (I do behave strangely sometimes, I have no hair due to alopecia and I use walking aids- plus I’m 37 so not your average student!) but for me brick uni is very isolating. At the OU i never felt alone and that’s my point to those with chronic health issues or problems- the help and support truly is there which is why it’s such a good option.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    I think the OP did say they have some health issues which could potentially make attending a brick uni difficult. I know personally the support I had from the OU with my disability issues was brilliant and whenever I had an issue I just had to pop over an email and someone would be right back- I’m at a brick uni now and although the support I get is okay when I can get it when I’m having a crisis a ten minute appointment 2 weeks next Thursday isn’t going to be much use! I can’t speak for all brick unis of course but the experience at the brick uni I’m at is fine if you’re 18 and able bodied but if you’re neither of those you’re stuffed.

    I’m doing a very specific topic for my MA and although my supervisors are good again there is very little support. Fortunately- I’m okay with that, the OU has taught me how to get my head down and get on with it so I don’t need continual support.

    Brick unis aren’t designed for those who need a lot of support or who have serious health issues- as I discovered at Nottingham Uni when i contracted an illness that led to cancer and was kicked off the course. I was told because it was a specific female cancer I had they couldn’t take it into account as they could only take into account conditions that an average student male or female could have- so if I had had something like leukaemia it would have been okay! The students union helped me mount a legal challenge on the grounds of gender discrimination which I won but this is the sort of things that brick unis do. Brick unis are not suitable for everyone- I’m looking at going back to the OU for my PhD as I really hate my brick uni so much. I only stay because it’s such a specific topic that I’m studying that I can’t find an equivalent in the OU. I know you say OU students overstate how good the OU is and if you want to think that then fine but I’m having such a horrible experience that frankly the OU is absolutely miles ahead!
    Yeah, the issue is that I have a pretty serious health condition that limits my ability to travel. Thankfully the OU contains enough relevant content for me in module choice and options for year 2/3 study. I have discussed this with the OU and they have assured me that they can cater for my health condition. I learn best with the content being organized and structured by academics and the learning aspects being wholly down to myself with regular moderation from tutors.

    I could (worst case scenario) have Zollinger-Ellison syndrome so right now my primary focus is getting back into education. I think the OU will be the best method for me as it will allow me to study a course I am passionate about with flexibility and from home.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I don't think you should give up on going to a brick uni just yet. Not having A levels is no barrier to a brick university, there are lots of alternative routes - see this thread for a list of options: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3401311

    An OU degree is a proper degree, there's no doubt about that. That vast majority of graduate jobs are open to people with an OU degree, although there are jobs which require practical scientific skills e.g. lab-based or fieldwork that as an OU graduate, you won't have - however, OU students tend to overstate just how good the OU is. It's good, but it has some failings.

    My biggest issue with the OU is the lack of module options. A brick uni might have 40 or more optional modules for you to choose from whereas the OU has, at best, 2 or 3. If you like the subject matter covered in the OU modules then that's no problem, but if you want to study specific areas of history or literature that the OU does not cover then I'd advise you to look elsewhere (the Uni of London has more comprehensive distance learning degrees, although you get less academic support), or a brick uni.



    I'm wondering if this is one of those OU myths. I keep seeing people say this on the OU facebook group, but nobody ever says which unis or which material is used, or by who.
    The OU is great for those who do not wish to move away or quit their job. The OU is targeted a lot at an older generation, as well as those with kids. Many students work around their degree and I have personally seen jobs available in my field that are open to students and graduates to gain experience. I have heard that there are some school days or placements where you can gain experience but it depends on the course. The OU is an alternative or another option to allow people to reach their potential.

    I chose the OU because I didn't want to move away and I wanted to continue working and I think it makes a lot of sense. I won't graduate unemployed and broke so it's a safety net and it allows me to potentially gain employment in my field whilst studying, so when I graduate, I can say that I already have 2-4 years of experience in the field. Employers will likely be impressed that I gained experience working in the field, held down a job and gained a degree in the mean time.

    The OU materials being used in hundreds of universities was stated on their website and I also saw a news clip on TV talking about universities and all the students were opening up booklets with a an OU logo in the corner.

    The OU is definitely not for everyone, but if someone considers it as an option, it is usually because their life is directing them in that direction, if that makes sense. I'm not denying that it has its failings but so does many things.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.