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Employer perception: Open University vs University of London
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geoffwode



Joined: 20 Feb 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 7:20 pm    Post subject: Employer perception: Open University vs University of London Reply with quote

Hi all

I'm currently in the UK doing a BA in English (remote study) with the University of London.

In the future I am going to move to Vietnam. I've lived there previously and gained a CELTA, but have no further teaching experience. I'm studying for the degree to help my chances of getting a decent teaching or writing job.

I am considering switching to the Open University, to study a BA in English Language and Literature. The appeal is its flexibility - it appears to offer more opportunties to focus on Language over Literature, which is my preference. It's also asssessed on coursework, rather than the University of London's single exam per course.

My reason for posting is the one concern I have - the value of "University of London" on a degree, compared to "The Open University".

How much would an employer based in Vietnam care about the University name? How about the rest of Asia?

Thanks for your time.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

University of London would have far greater value. Nowadays, employers look at names because there are so many certs and degrees floating around. However, if you want to go with The Open University then do so..
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Elicit



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Employer perception: Open University vs University of Lo Reply with quote

geoffwode wrote:

I am considering switching to the Open University, to study a BA in English Language and Literature. The appeal is its flexibility - it appears to offer more opportunties to focus on Language over Literature, which is my preference. It's also asssessed on coursework, rather than the University of London's single exam per course.

My reason for posting is the one concern I have - the value of "University of London" on a degree, compared to "The Open University".

How much would an employer based in Vietnam care about the University name? How about the rest of Asia?

Thanks for your time.


I hold one of those from the OU. Firstly, it has not given me problems in any way for getting jobs, including one in Vietnam. It is also true that you can focus on language, especially in the last modules (3rd year) like I did. There was a singular exam when I did the degree though. It was for a literature course in the 2nd year. As an aside, the degree did prepare me well for postgraduate study in the field.

However, when I did it the total degree cost me about 3k in total, but now there is little difference between OU fees and UOL’s etc., I would think. Although I would study with the OU again and have no regrets, I think currentaffairs has a good point and I would stick with the UOL if in your shoes.
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geoffwode



Joined: 20 Feb 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for both of your replies.

UoL is significantly cheaper to study, but I neglected to mention one other thing - I am thinking of moving back from England to Wales for the duration of my study.

The OU website indicates that this will reduce the total fees for a degree from £17,584 to £5,904.

Further to this, I believe that, with the OU, the entire amount is classed as tuition fees. As such, I could apply for a part-time tuition fee loan for the full amount. I'm not sure what my future financial situation will be like, so it would be nice to have this option.

UoL, on the other hand, separate out their charges. The cost of paying UoL to sit an exam, plus the cost of paying the examination centre, does not seem to be eligible for tuition fee funding. At £425 total per 30 credit exam, that does rack up. I'd therefore only be able to get a tuition fee loan for their yearly "continuing registration fee" (£907).

Still weighing up the pros and cons. Looking forward to hearing any further views Smile
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geoff, I've noticed that the OU fees differ depending on where you live as you mention above. I'm looking at one of their MA courses which costs £9,000 where I currently live compared to £6,000 if I lived in the UK (where I still maintain a postal address). Do you know how the OU verify where you live?

As for your dilemma, sure the UoL may be more prestigious but this is the TEFL industry (in Asia) we're talking about - many employers only require a degree in order to get you a work permit and I doubt many are overly concerned about your alma mater. I think relevance to what you want to do career-wise and cost are far bigger concerns.
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geoffwode



Joined: 20 Feb 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tudor wrote:
Do you know how the OU verify where you live?


Hi Tudor. I asked a similar question myself via a query form on their website. They just copied and pasted from the appendix in the documents located here.

http://www.open.ac.uk/students/charter/essential-documents/fee-rules

This hinted at an answer, but didn't explicitly answer my question.

Tudor wrote:
I think relevance to what you want to do career-wise and cost are far bigger concerns.


As this thread progresses, I'm leaning towards your view, unless someone flags up an OU degree as being particularly poorly received abroad. If I'm going to have another 4 or more years of working and studying, I want the study part to be as interesting to me as possible.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Asia or working for Miss Zhong I am sure you would be fine. But, you don't know how your life is going to develop. Are you always going to be in Asia? What happens if you want to work in the Middle East or Japan?
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nimadecaomei



Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

currentaffairs wrote:
For Asia or working for Miss Zhong I am sure you would be fine. But, you don't know how your life is going to develop. Are you always going to be in Asia? What happens if you want to work in the Middle East or Japan?


Yes, because neither the Middle East nor Japan are in Asia Laughing
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Elicit



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you don’t tell them won’t harm them is the case with most distance learning university programmes.

On campus residential stints are one issue to consider, and also more specific to the OU is having an address in the country you say you are living in, because this will be where all the correspondence material will be sent. You then need to post or courier the material from that address to where you are actually living.
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Tudor



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you geofffwode and Elicit for your answers.
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geoffwode



Joined: 20 Feb 2017
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

currentaffairs wrote:
For Asia or working for Miss Zhong I am sure you would be fine. But, you don't know how your life is going to develop. Are you always going to be in Asia? What happens if you want to work in the Middle East or Japan?


Please could you elaborate on this?

I have no plans to work in these countries, but if you do have any knowledge of employer perceptions of the universities that I've mentioned, I'd welcome it Smile

Thanks
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

University of London is a very well-known university. If you were studying at a former polytechnic then I don’t think it would matter so much.
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Rehcra



Joined: 26 Mar 2018
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to distinguish two things: a degree for paperwork, and a degree as a qualification.

For paperwork purposes, a distance learning degree is a distance learning degree. Paperwork shufflers in Qatar may not like them, paperwork shufflers in Vietnam may. But if it's a requirement for the job, then the university doesn't matter.

As a qualification, what matters is what the DoS (or other recruitment manager) thinks of it. Anyone decent will know that both UoL and OU are respectable institutions; as a recruiter I look to see if a uni falls into that category, but I don't spend my time trying to decide whether Leicester or Birmingham has higher academic standards. I can't guarantee that all recruiters share my perspective, but I'm happy not to work for them.
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Elicit



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Less important to recruiters, but academia loves snobbery. If a longer-term career is sought with progression, a distinction between the two may come in to play, in one form or another.

It is also worth noting that UoL’s degree and transcript may not specify mode of study, whereas the OU is obviously by default a distance learning institution.
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currentaffairs



Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also add that while most would agree that there is little difference between Birmingham and Leicester that doesn’t mean that all universities are deemed to be equal.. Some departments are world leaders and others are not.

In the Middle East a lot of the public institutions also use the fabled top 500 ranking system. They won’t employ you unless your university is recognised.
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