From education to employment


Distance learners across the UK can now gain wider access to universities, thanks to the new partnership between a major distance learning provider and a higher education organisation.

Open Study College students completing pre-university level courses at home and in their free time can now benefit from support from QA Higher Education in taking the next step to university.

QA partners with five universities in the UK, bringing accredited degree programmes from these universities closer to students via a network of local teaching centres in different cities.

This means graduates of Open Study College can now undertake a degree from Middlesex University, Northumbria University, the University of Roehampton, Solent University or Ulster University, while studying at convenient central locations in London, Birmingham, Manchester. Alongside traditionally timetabled daytime weekday classes, study options also include evening and weekend classes.

For a student base whose key priority is flexibility and the need to balance study with existing commitments, this new initiative is highly significant:

“Many of our students come to us because distance learning allows them to advance their careers without sacrificing their existing work or family duties,” said Samantha Rutter, CEO of Open Study College.

“We’re now able to offer them the full end-to-end educational journey, and that’s truly an exciting step for us. This partnership with QA lets us deliver flexible access to further education for our students, at degree level, with a trusted provider.”

Karen Cain, Institutional Relationships Director at QA Higher Education, said: “This is a really exciting development, furthering our aim to give students access to outstanding higher education.

“We look forward to bringing more opportunities to distance learners, who have completed their pre-university level study with Open Study College and are looking to take the next step.”

Open Study College already offers a wide range of training and further education courses, including both vocational disciplines such as health and social care, and traditional academic qualifications.

Recent years have seen a growing interest in A-levels, along with increased enquiries from students keen to progress to university-level education on completion of their distance learning course.

In a further synergy between the new partners, Open Study College attracts a significant proportion of female and mature students. This dovetails with a drive by QA to promote access to higher education for both of these groups.

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