Press release: Students can save thousands on degrees starting this September says RDI.


Young people starting university this September can save thousands on their degree or diploma, according to distance learning specialist Resource Development International ( RDI – ). At a time when Brits are being hit where it hurts – in the wallet – young people can avoid running up student debt during the recession and remain in ready cash as they ‘earn and learn’.

RDI is the world’s largest independent provider of UK university qualifications by distance learning: study is carried out using the internet and email. A simple maths lesson from RDI shows why many 20-35 year olds are now choosing distance learning over a ‘traditional’ bricks and mortar education. The total price of a BA(Hons) in Business is £4,500 by distance learning compared to at least £15,000 if taken on campus – so students can save a massive £10,500 and beat the crunch!

PEN Comment: The word around the chattering classes is that their offspring are going to university, paying great fees, incurring massive debt and getting little in return. Hot topics of conversation revolve around just how many hours of contact time they get a week, the size of lectures, poor and infrequent tutorials etc etc.  So just what is the point? The students themselves seem little more convinced by the experience. Year by year university seems more like an extension of school. Let’s just raise the school leaving age to 21 and be done with it if that’s the case!!! The attraction of the Open University and other more flexible options grows daily.

And, when students graduate from RDI courses, they have a useful degree in a discipline such as business, management or psychology, which applies to the ‘real world’: not a questionable qualification that’s unlikely to result in a job afterwards. The UK has recently been slammed for its focus on “Mickey Mouse” degrees in arts and humanities and for having high drop-out rate as students shun their “pointless” qualifications*.

Dr Hallam, CEO of RDI, comments: “At a time when many people are losing their jobs and the economy is flagging, it’s important to gain the right education to impress employers and at a price you can afford. Around 80% of RDI’s new enrolments in October to December 2008** were from 20-35 year olds who have chosen distance learning. Although students may enjoy the social side of on campus education, they’re unlikely to enjoy the resulting debt, which they must repay when they find their first job.”

Thanks to RDI’s new ‘pay as you go’ system, higher education is painless on the wallet. The fee is just £99 a month for the first year of study, followed by £125 a month. Students can make ends meet by working and studying in their free time (the ‘earn and learn’ approach). They can study and share ideas from any location with an internet connection using RDI’s educational answer to Facebook, called ‘iLearn’, which rolls an online university, online campus and classroom into one.

“So,” says Dr Hallam, “there’s no need to decamp to a damp student flat near a far-away university and then worry about finding the rent money while surviving on baked beans on toast! With RDI, you can stay at home and keep your job while also signing up for a top quality UK university degree.”

RDI student Melissa Davies (19), of Southampton, is studying HNC Business (Management) while working as an accounts administrator for a construction company and living at home with her parents. She says: “After sixth form college, most of my friends decided to attend university full-time, on campus, but I thought distance learning would be better for me. The main reason was so I could work at the same time, earning money and gaining experience. After being an accounts administrator for 18 months now, I’ve already gained valuable experience of the working world, which my friends who are studying at traditional universities don’t yet have. I’m getting the best of both worlds.”

She adds: “My workplace agreed to cover the cost of the course, as they know I’ll be able to contribute more to the company thanks to what I’m learning.”

RDI has around 7,000 students enrolled and distance learning courses are available at MBA, MSc, BA (Hons), Diploma and Advanced Certificate level.

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