Great news for those of you who are unable to go to college due to distance, time, finances, and other constraints: You can earn your college degree online through open university!
Open universities provide education through an open-door academic policy (accepting students based on minimal entry requirements). This is why open universities are usually “open” to all students.
This alternative form of education allows a student to attain their college degree by taking online courses from the comfort of their own home—part-time and during their spare time. Students receive and send schoolwork online and are usually only required to go to a facility to take their exams in the presence of a proctor.
Moreover, a student can also accomplish non-degree qualifications (e.g. diplomas, certificates, continuing education units) and a postgraduate degree through open university.
It is a recognized alternative to standard education. Notable graduates of open university include Filipino singer/actress Sarah Geronimo (Associate in Arts), Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri (Master’s in Environment and Natural Resources Management), and former Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay (Diploma in Environment and Natural Resources Management).
Filling the gaps in education
As a response to the need for accessible education for Filipinos, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) first issued the concepts of distance education, open learning, and alternative learning systems (ALS) in the year 2000—two of which are general characteristics of an open university:
- Distance Education (DE) – A model of education wherein the teacher and student are separated in time and space. The teacher is able to provide instruction through specially designed materials and procedures via an online platform.
- Open Learning (OL) – A flexible philosophy of learning that allows a student to learn at his or her own time, place, and pace.
As a result, Filipinos now have better chances of attaining their college degree and enhancing their knowledge. Gone are the days of being deprived of opportunities for job placement and advancement.
Who can benefit from open university?
- People with financial constraints could benefit greatly from open university since it generally offers cheaper tuition than traditional education (i.e. schools). The average tuition for a bachelor’s program in open university ranges from P10,000 to P15,000 per semester, in contrast to the usual P20,000 to P60,000 range in regular universities. What’s more, studying from home eliminates the daily cost of attending a conventional school.
- The flexibility of this educational method is also helpful to people with full-time jobs—offering them the chance to pursue their studies while working and supporting themselves financially.
- This also helps the government and educational institutions in overcoming physical limitations and providing education to a greater number of students. What do you do if you want to teach 2,000 students but cannot cram them into one classroom? Open university is an answer to this problem.
While an open university opens up a lot of hope and opportunities, it’s going to require a great amount of self-discipline. Seeing yourself through the course will take determination and self-reliance, as opposed to motivation from outside sources (e.g. regular face-to-face interactions with classmates and teachers).
Regardless, these are the challenges that would bring to light a person’s passions and aspirations as they push past the odds.
Now that education is more attainable than ever, what’s left to do is to know your options. There are many open universities worldwide and in the Philippines. Search for open universities today through www.edukasyon.ph.