“UK universities should invest in online courses.” That is the view of Universities Minister David Willetts, who is encouraging universities to take advantage of what he described as a “historic opportunity”.
Mr Willetts believes that countries such as India and Indonesia have an increasing demand for university education, driven by demographic and economic changes – which has provided UK universities with a new market to exploit.
But he also thinks that due to there being such a widespread demand, there would need to be an effective combination of campus universities and online courses in order to fulfil it.
Add that to the recent hike in the cost of tuition fees, and it’s inevitable that people are taking a more prudent approach when deciding about attending a traditional university course.
Presently, students are required to pay back tens of thousands of pounds in government loans once they reach a certain level of salary.
This has led to a 6.3% drop in UK university applicants – many of which are fearful of the mountain of debt they will incur whilst studying on campus.
Mr Willetts, speaking at the Guardian Higher Education Summit in February, expressed his views about how online universities are going to play a “very significant” role in a worldwide increase in student numbers.
The minister also voiced his doubts on whether the “classic model” of campus universities would be able to cater to the rise in demand in Asian countries for higher education.
He argued, on that basis, that online universities should no longer be considered an alternative to the more traditional form of university education.
Online courses are designed to be more cost-effective, and provide a greater degree of flexibility than normal, campus- centred degrees, thus bringing higher education to a much broader range of people.
The Online Business School is a prime example of this model.
Their unique platform allows people to gain business skills and university qualifications in a modern and engaging way, whilst cutting down on the tuition fees, living expenses and other financial costs associated with campus-based higher education.
There are also no requirements for students to have prior qualifications, meaning that the learning opportunities really are available to everyone.
But money isn’t the only reason why an increasing number are deciding to study online, there are other benefits.
The OBS platform provides a unique online learning environment that challenges the traditional classroom format.
The web based instruction modules allow students to learn what they want, when they want, and also grants the user with full access to a wide range of interactive tools and support.
These features include student dashboards, a 24/7 networking forum and a panel of online tutors offering online webcasts and webinars.
The Online Business School system caters for modern lifestyles, giving students a flexible timetable and more freedom to plan around their studies.