Wednesday, 26 September 2007

A New Design and OU Financial Support

If your reading this blog entry hopefully you will have noticed that the website has changed. I have added a new design layout and although there have been a few teething issues I am fairly happy with the results. I hope everyone likes it, its a lot simpler and easier on the eye than the previous design but still engaging enough to keep you coming back.

I was asked by a colleague recently what type of financial support the OU offer students and as I advised them I thought that it would be useful information to add to this blog.

This is the Second year that the Open University have assisted me financially with my studies and they have been of great benefit! The OU provide a wide range of grants and financial support to a huge amount of students and if you are considering studying anything from as much as a whole degree to as little as one course but you are not sure if you can afford it they provide ready reckoner's online which will give you an idea as to what support is available.

It is also worth noting that as well as financial support, the Open University have the Open University Student Budget Account or OUSBA which provide ways of spreading the cost of your studies by paying course fees over the year at a low rate of interest.

For more info please see the OUSBA website

If you earn under £30K and live in the England and Northern Ireland you should be entitled to financial support. The OU rate this out so if you earn under say £15k you should be eligible for a full course grant, between £16K - £26k you should be eligible for a partial course grant, these figures are approximate and change yearly. The amount of grant you will receive depends on how many credits you study and other contributing factors. Please see the OU Financial Support Site for full details.

The general Financial Support Site for the OU can be found below:

Financial Support Site for Open University UK

As can be seen on the financial support site, depending on where you live (England & Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland etc) there are different support structures in place. The amount of Support you may be eligible for depends on your country of residence. Ready Reckoner's for each country can be found below:

England and Northern Ireland Financial Support Calculator
Wales Financial Support Calculator
Scotland Financial Support Calculator

As well as support for fees, the OU provide other support such as Computer Grants to use towards the purchase of a PC or Laptop for Study, Grants for Internet Fees when used for Study etc. However, it is worth nothing that these grants tend to be offered on a first come first served basis. Judging by the leaflets and letters I get each year a lot of the funds available for these grants are not used up.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Excuse the corny title to this blog post, however I have just been reading the OUSA Sesame mailing that seems to come around every so often and to my amazement the OUSA have managed to secure a great deal for OU students. Effective immediately OU students can register for the NUS Extra Card for £10!

This card gives you masses of benefits and also includes the ISIC card which retails at £9 on its own and up util now was the only worthwhile benefits card available to OU students. Those of you who read the blog will know what the ISIC card consists of, for more information or to register for an NUS Extra Card you need to check The registration can be done online (i have just completed it!) all you require is a photo to be either uploaded or taken via your webcam in real time and your PI (Personal Identifier) number, this is the number the OU knows you by and can be found on most pieces of correspondence you receive or in the OU student home online.

Check the website for more info on the discounts available, the card is valid until september 2008 so the earlier you sign up the longer the benefits last.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Postponed M255 until Febraury

after working my way through the MU120 mathematics preperatory materials and hearing that M263 is predominantly maths based course I have chosen to postpone M255 until Febraury. To be honest I know maths isn't necessarily my strongest point and to give myself the fairest chance of passing my courses to a good standard (M263 counts towards degree classification) I want to be able to dedicate all my time to M263 and MU120.

It was a bit of a relief to get it sorted, as the last 3 weeks I have spent alot of time worrying about my workload and the thought of my first two courses which contain final exams running directly in parallel. I hope I have made the right decision... time will tell though.