Distance teaching in the UK
It goes without saying that higher education is vitally important in modern life because nowadays it is almost impossible to get a well-paid and prestigious job without a parchment. Therefore today all young people aim to get a sound education to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills for their future career. Generally speaking, there’re lots of various colleges and universities where one can study for a degree, but I would like to draw your attention to Distance Teaching or the so-called Open University. Practically speaking, the degrees from the OU carry the same value as those from any other red-brick institution. The main difference is that students of such university learn on their own, which means a great deal of hard work and takes a lot of time. In my view, the OU has a lot of advantages; firstly, it is open to all school-leavers, no matter what background they have. Secondly, to enter the OU you don’t need any “O” or “A” levels, which allows more people a chance to get education. Still there is one condition: the applicants must be no less than 21 years old.
As for the subjects, in the OU they range from arts and social sciences to mathematics and technology. The majority of their courses the students obtain through the post. In addition, TV and radio are regularly organized for some subjects, and for some disciplines there are a one-week summer courses. Besides, one can get a personal tutor who will be making the assessments of their abilities and will help them to avoid mistakes. What is more, the price for studying in the OU is very reasonable, and in addition those who are on a low income or unemployed can be provided with grants.
Actually, there’re various reasons why people choose studying in the OU. Some--purely for the increasing of their knowledge, others—because they want to get a second education, working at the same time. Yet, personally I think that studying in a full-time university away from home and living in a youth hostel can’t be compared with the Distance Teaching. It is obviously much cheaper, but I strongly believe that it isn’t as good, as full-time tuition. I also consider that living and studying alongside with fellow-mates makes any student more independent, helps to develop tolerance and mutual respect, besides, it gives a lot of strong impressions and a wonderful possibility to acquire lifelong friends.
3. Similarities and differences between “Orientation Week” at Stanford University and your University
At the very beginning I would like to say that our school system differ from the university one a lot. That is why entering the university is like entering a new and completely unknown world, which is full of unfamiliar things. It is accepted that as soon as young people become students they step into adult life. Besides that they get higher education, they are taught to be independent and self-disciplined. But before they adapt to a new system they have to come across with some difficulties. Therefore every university has the so-called “Orientation Week”, during which the freshmen have the opportunity to get used to the university life.
Since all universities are different, so, they have dissimilar programs of “Orientation Week”. Let’s compare our university and a foreign one, for example, Stanford University. Well, while at Stanford University the freshmen are immersed in a great number of events, for instance, they are involved in such recreational activities as barbecues or bathing on the beach, we don’t have any at all. What is more, unfortunately we don’t have any organized discussions with upperclassmen, which might be rather helpful. However, there are some similarities in the activities that are organized in both universities. As well as at Stanford University the freshmen of MSLU have a wonderful opportunity to meet the dean of their faculty personally. Furthermore, several special lectures are organized at the assembly hall, during which the students are given the information about all the libraries, listening- and reading-halls. Besides, they are informed about the rules which must be observed at the university.
For my part, I consider such thing as “Orientation Week” to extremely useful for freshmen in any university, because it really helps them to get involved into the university life in the shortest period. Apart from that, it allows the students to save more time and efforts afterwards. It is also gives a wonderful possibility to get to know with your future teachers, which is very important because they the very people who will be together with you for five hard years.