1. How long will I take to obtain a degree at the Open university?
The time taken to obtain a degree depends on your previous qualifications and the number of courses you take in a year. A student with GCE(A/L) mathematics can complete the programme and get a degree in five years if he/she takes the maximum allowable courses per year.
A question that seems to bother a large number of students is the length of time it takes to complete a programme of study.
Each course is assigned a credit rating, depending on the amount of work involved. A one credit course would require 450 hours of study, a half credit course 225 hours, a one credit course 150 hours, and one sixth credit course 75 hours. Under normal circumstances, a student may register for up to two credits from Engineering, Mathematics, and Industrial categories of courses in an academic year. However, a working student will find it difficult to devote the time required (about 900 hours) for undertaking the study of courses totaling two credits, as this would mean about four hours be set aside every day for study.
Students can also register for up to one credit of Projects, General. Management, Training, English, and Computer Literacy course. However, the total number of credits should not exceed 2.5.
A student, who starts at level 1, with no exemptions, will need to earn eight and half (8.5) credits for the Diploma and thirteen and half (13.5) for the B Tech(Eng) degree. Thus, the minimum time required for completing the Diploma is 4 years, while a minimum of 6 years is needed to complete the degree. In practice, most students take longer than the minimum time.
It is unreasonable to compare the time taken to complete a programme of study at the Open Unversity with that at other institutions. This is because the University expects its students to be working while studying. In fact, most students do.
Source: Student GuideBook2007, Faculty of Engineering Technology, OUSL
2. How the Open University differs from other universities?
The open university primarily uses open and distance teaching methods for facilitating the learning. The students are provided with course materials specially written for self learning, instead of lectures of the conventional universities.
3. Can I use my present qualifications to get exemptions?
Yes you can get exemptions for your previous qualifications. There is a list of such qualifications prepared by the Faculty for which the students get course exemptions. If you have some other qualifications not listed, you could apply for evaluation of such qualifications when you register.
4. Is the fees charged affordable?
Yes, of course. The university charges course fee which is much less than that of any other institutions offering similar programmes. Unlike other Universities in Sri Lanka, the Open University does charge fees from its students. This is related to the fact that the Open University was set up primarily to cater to the needs of employed students. As these students would naturally be earning at least a modest income, it was felt that the decision to levy fees might be justified.
However, there has never been an intention of recovering the full cost of the education imparted by the University from the students. As at today, the income from fees is only about thirty percent of the total recurrent expenditure of the University. The Government, through grants disbursed through the University Grants Commission meets the balance seventy percent.
In the worst case, a student may have to decide to continue studies at a slower pace than otherwise possible, because of lack of funds. In some ways, this is parallel to the situation where a student decides to offer (say) only one credit in a year (instead of the possible two) due to lack of time, It would of course mean that the total duration of the programme is extended.
5. Are Engineering Degrees awarded by the OUSL recognized?
Yes, B.Tech(Engineering) Degree in all specializations are recognized by the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. In addition. Engineering graduates of the OUSL have secured employment in various government and private sector organizations and well received by them.