From 2012, Universities in England will be able to charge up to £9,000 per year per student for tuition fees.*

At present, the maximum tuition fees Universities can charge is £3,290. With such a significant rise, it’s clear to see why many potential graduates will start to look at alternatives; and that’s where distance learning programs could come in.

For students enrolling on a four year course, an education bill of up to £36,000 is a daunting prospect and with government funding to Universities being cut, more institutions could be forced to charge the full £9,000 per year.

While distance learning programs may not be held in the same esteem as University courses, they could offer a more affordable way for people to study for a degree, new career or professional qualification.

In these uncertain economic times, there are no guarantees a graduate who has paid £36,000 in tuition fees will be able to get a well paid job in their chosen field at the end of their studies.

So why might distance learning programs be a more desirable way for people to study not just in 2012, but in future years too?

  • Affordability

Not only can distance learning programs provide degree courses that are more affordable than full-time University courses, they can also be studied at a person’s own pace.

Many students in the UK find it hard to make ends meet and by doing courses such as a degree or professional qualification remotely, there’s the chance to keep earning while studying.

  • Flexibility

Life doesn’t always run smoothly and personal problems, injury and illness can all have a serious impact on someone attending a full-time University course.

Distance learning programs provide more flexible courses that can be studied using distance learning. This means you can take things at your own pace and fit your course around your life, rather than the other way around.

  • Peace of mind

A distance learning program may require payment up front, or often you can spread the cost with instalments. Because these courses are more affordable, you won’t have the heavy burden of debt hanging over you once you’ve successfully completed your course.

The new higher University tuition fees will place even more pressure on students to find a well paid position after graduating. Having £36,000 worth of debt will also impact on most people’s ability to take the first step on the property ladder too.

As the true impact of higher University tuition fees on the level of applications becomes clear next year, providers of distance learning programs are ideally positioned to offer a viable and affordable alternative to University life.


Author Bio: ICS Learn is a leading provider of distance learning programs and has a wide range of distance learning courses from degrees through to vocational qualifications.


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