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Distance Learning for Over 18s - Ben's Story

Our adult learning student Ben Dean is a testament to the power of determination and hard work.

After leaving school with no qualifications and working for 15 years as a welder, he earned a degree from the Open University. Ben then completed our IGCSE English and Maths courses, hoping to improve his employability and proficiency in these skills.

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Maths & English are Essential

Ben explains his experiences with education and why distance learning with Wolsey Hall proved to be one of the best decisions he made.

“I had been applying for jobs with my new degree but soon realised that employers are looking for graduates with qualifications in basic skills like English and Maths. I left school with very poor exam results, only managing a G in English and Maths. To be taken seriously in the job market I needed some better exam results – at least a C.

“I struggled at school and would act up in class. I left with no qualifications and spent a lot of time unemployed. I eventually settled into a career in welding, not by choice but because I had to do something to earn money.”

Flexible Learning

“A few years ago I decided that this was not what I wanted to do with my life, so I started on a degree course with the Open University. The beauty of studying with the OU is that you set when you study and the pace at which you study, which is also how Wolsey Hall Oxford organise their courses.

“I chose to do both subjects with Wolsey Hall over a six month period. This was no problem and I was sent a timetable for the assignments. The timetable is flexible though which is absolutely crucial to adult learners with busy lives.

“I set a specific time aside to study, two hours in the evening and whatever I felt like doing at the weekend. But I was squeezing both courses into six months and everyone has to set their own study times.”

A Sense of Achievement

“One particular challenge for me was learning to use computers properly but it was worth it. Generally the main enemy of home studying is motivation: you have to keep yourself going through the tough stuff. Don’t forget that your tutors are there to help you, and if you don’t understand something you can ask them. If things get hard, try leaving it alone for a while and come back to it with a fresh brain. Many times I struggled all day with a problem only to return the next day and find the solution within minutes!

“The greater benefits of courses like these speak for themselves. If you have ever imagined doing something that you always wanted to do, it is totally possible if you put in the work and get the relevant qualifications. The sense of achievement and the broadening of your horizons is reason enough to take any course at all.”

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