International Youth Day – how distance learning is transforming education

August 12, 2019 / Libby Barrett

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day, taking place on 12th August, is ‘Transforming Education’. We took the opportunity to survey hundreds of students to find out how distance learning has helped them to progress professionally and academically.
Our findings showed how motivations for studying generally changed as students progressed through their life. Younger learners expressed an eagerness to develop their skills, education and careers, while older students are more likely to study for enjoyment, develop a new skill or to refresh their existing knowledge.
We’ve noticed a vast and growing interest in remote learning among the younger demographic. In fact, two thirds of students currently registered with Open Study College are aged between 16 and 24, which is a considerable share of the 90,000 students who have enrolled with us to date.

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While A Level courses remain the most popular choice among younger learners, vocational subjects such as childcare, health and social care, beauty and animal care are also very popular with this age group.
Our CEO Samantha Rutter said, “It is no surprise to see learners taking on additional A Levels and are looking to study after leaving school. According to the State of Education report in 2017, secondary school leaders expressed how a narrowing curriculum and a reduced choice of academic subjects was a real concern for many schools.
“I think students can feel this shift too, as many school leavers come to us and other distance learning providers seeking additional A Levels and vocational courses. Some students catch up on missed qualifications, while others seek to broaden their knowledge in a way that they might not have been able to while still at school.”

Is distance learning transforming education?

At Open Study College we have found that young students choose distance learning because they value the convenience and wellbeing benefits it can offer. They view distance learning as a tool which allows them to take full control of their education; fitting their studies around their schedule, health and career responsibilities. Students say it has provided them with an opportunity to remove some of the pressures associated with receiving an education, while studying in a more inclusive and accessible way.
Samantha continues, “Events such as International Youth Day gives us a real reason to look at what matters most to the young people in our society. This year’s theme of ‘Transforming Education’ is particularly interesting to us as it has always been our mission to make education more accessible.
“I see distance learning as an important part of the picture in improving access to education. This form of learning has helped students who may not have considered further education to access a platform where they feel empowered to improve their career prospects. Many tell us that learning in this way has had a dramatic impact on their life, both personally and professionally, allowing them to reach their goals. It is truly never too late to learn.”

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Libby Barrett

As Digital Content Executive for OSC, I'm currently studying my IDM Digital Marketing qualification through distance learning. I absolutely love all things creative and when I'm not at Open Study College, I'm being a complete theatre nerd, performing in panto or amateur productions!

International Youth Day – how distance learning is transforming education
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