Ben@Forest wrote: ... Yes I also wondered about mature students both at universities and the OU. My wife, a nurse, got her part-time study degree about 10 years after qualifying with different (nursing) qualification.
The graduation ceremony was those getting degrees in nursing and social care only. It was dominated by thirty-something to middle-aged women and a considerable amount got a Third. I can imagine why if you're juggling a job, kids and are in profession which has become degree oriented.
It seems times change. My chequered academic history includes a regional OU graduation ceremony (ie one of thirteen regions) in 1988. This has prompted me to check my booklet with all that years OU graduates listed. In those days, the only first degree conferred by the OU was BA which miffed many who had specialised in science units. (And unlike Oxford, it wasn't automatically upgraded to MA after a couple of years.) Anyway, graduates in the Yorkshire (07) Region that year included 33 firsts, 44 2:1's, 39 2:2, and only three thirds. There were perhaps 600 pass degrees (I'm not going to count the list.) A glance at the other regions confirms that those proportions are broadly typical. In those days completing six OU courses meant a BA and two further courses at the higher levels were necessary for honours, the classification being decided on the grades achieved in the individual courses. In an earlier era, OU students had been able to study almost unlimited numbers of courses in the hope of achieving a higher honours classification.
I believe the OU is a wonderful institution. I understand - largely from Private Eye
- that it's been in difficulties recently. If so it's a pity because its distance learning model fits so well with the needs of our society. I know it's changed since my day, including scrapping TV programmes at ungodly hours given by academics in flared trousers with weirdo hair styles
and BSc degrees but I wish it well.
PS I was working full-time when I was an OU student.