DL programs

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Yan, Jun 6, 2001.

  1. Yan

    Yan New Member

    I have studied a number of DL programs since 1980s and would like to make comments on some of them:

    1) The University of the State of New York (Excelsior College) - I completed by BS (Business) in 1986 (at that time, the transcripts and degrees were granted in the name of The University of the State of New York, I like that name more). You can complete the degree program within short period of time as it has no restriction on credits transfer and no residency requirement (I think the policy is the same now). The program is accredited, the cost is reasonable and the system is efficient. Many bachelor programs and one master program are available.

    2) The University of South Africa - I completed by Honours Bachelor of Commerce in early 1990s (in South Africa, Honours degree program is one year full-time or two years part-time studies in addition to bachelor degree). It is a government university and accredited (in the US sense). The exam. will be conducted at the local South African Consulate. The system is efficient and the cost is very very low (less than US $1,000 per year!) because it is subsidied by SA government. Almost all of the master and doctorate degrees are research orientated, and candidates need to go to UNISA to defense their dissertations/ thesis. However, there is no residency requirement for bachelor or honours bachelor degree programs.

    3) University of London - it is a very reputable UK university and has offered its external degree programs for more than a hundred years now. I have just completed by MSc in financal economics from the Univeristy. The University is very famous for its Economics and Law courses (many lawyers in the UK and former UK colonies are the law graduates, internal or external, of the University. It has quite a number of bachelor and master (including MBA) degree programs and the cost is reasonable (around $10,000 for most programs) and no residency requirement.
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Thank you for this, I think you're the first person on this board to attend both a US RA school and UNISA.

    How would you compare the academic rigor of USNY/Excelsior to UNISA?

  3. Yan

    Yan New Member

    The Excelisor College of The University of the State of New York has adopted a more flexible system for credits transfer (it does not have restriction on this). However, the College maintains a high quality control and standard on granting credits. Students can attain any accredited colleges and universities for additional credits (the system seems to be very suitable for US arm forces).

    As to the UNISA, few exemptions from courses are offered and you need to study almost the program from the very beginning. The assignments and examinations are demanding.

    Therefore, if someone has already obtained quite a number of credits from accredited colleges and universities, Excelsior College is the best choice.
  4. dgtucker

    dgtucker New Member

    I have just completed by MSc in financal economics from the Univeristy

    Which program? Was it through CeFiMS or another unit of the University?
  5. Yan

    Yan New Member

    You are right, it is offered through the CeFiMS, SOAS of the University of London.

  6. dgtucker

    dgtucker New Member

    How did you find the program? Especially difficult, challenging, easy? Were the assignments fairly easy to understand? I'm in a CeFiMS program and I'm trying to gain insight into their mindset
  7. Yan

    Yan New Member

    The marking and grading system in the UK is quite different from that in the US. For courses in CeFiMS, 40 marks are the passing marks for diploma and postgraduate diploma courses, and 50 marks or above are required for master degree courses. One would graduate with distinction if the average marks of the courses are 75 or above (very difficult to achieve).

    In fact, CeFiMs has been established in Dec. 2000 (or early this year) by consolidating two other centres and a new website is being constructed for this centre (http://www.cefims.ac.uk/index2.htm) where would be used as part of teaching resources some time in future.

    The assignements and examinations are demanding but reasonable. It is important that you must submit every assignment that would be counted as part of your final grade.
    There is a new policy that one may not be allowed to take final examination if all assignments are not submitted (any change now?). If there are local supporting tutorial sessions, try to attend them.

    As to examinations, getting a pass mark is not difficult. Specimen examination papers will be sent to students at the beginning of the courses, so they can understand the requirements of the examinations. The choice of examination questions is wide (you can choose, say 4 questions from two parts each has 4 or 5 questions).

    Administrative support from the University is very efficient and administative staff is very helpful.

    I hope that the above information may be helpful to you.

  8. dgtucker

    dgtucker New Member

    I have found some of the modules in my program to be excellent and others to be confusing and ambiguous. I agree that the new CeFiMS administrative staff is outstanding, but they had some troubles in their transition.
  9. Yan

    Yan New Member

    I agree that some problems may be arised in the transitional period. In each program, apart from compulsory courses, one usually has a choice of courses from a list of electives (unfortunately, some of those elective courses may not be conducted every year). When selecting elective courses, one must be careful about the contents of the courses. Some courses are more numerical orientated, e.g. econometrics and financial management, whilst other are more theoretical orientated, e.g. banking. Basic knowledge in statistics is usually required for econometrics. The prerequisite knowledge will usually be included in the courses' information.

    As I mentioned before, there is a wide choice of examination questions. Therefore, one needs not be master of every area/topic of the course for the success of examination.


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