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Rebecca Dillon

How part time study can open new doors

I’ve recently started a part time Honours Degree course through the Open University alongside my full time role here at Commonweal.

While this is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, and something that will help me while I’m at Commonweal and my career going forward, it’s the part time study element that most attracted me to furthering my education now I’m in my 30s

There are a whole host of reasons why people go back to school as mature students and the main one for me is I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life when I was 18 after my A levels, so I worked my way up rather than studied first – plus I’m not sure I would have got much work done with all the student parties, cheap beer and pot noodles for dinner!

There is a Twitter and facebook hash tag #LovePartTime that’s trending at the moment, and it’s not hard to see why. Part time study allows me and thousands of other students to work alongside their studies and is structured in a way that can be accessible to many more people now that part time study is eligible for student loans. This isn’t just of benefit to the person studying, but allows companies to keep hold of good staff and helps keep the economy going. 70% of the 200,000 Open University students combine their studies with work and 80% of FTSE 100 companies have paid for their staff to study with the OU allowing students to apply their learning directly rather than waiting until their course finishes

The #LovePartTime campaign features famous people from Terry Waite OBE to Annie Lennox, who all say how part time study has contributed to their lives and has enriched them and how their education will stay with them for life – now I’m on the same journey as them I can already begin to say I can’t wait for this to change my life and for my part time education to stay with me long after I graduate.



Amy Doyle is Project Development Manager at Commonweal Housing