“Formal education makes you a master, self-education makes a legend”

There are many ways in which external Programme is different from Distance Education and it is important that you understand how it will work. Below, you can read about some of the advantages and disadvantages of studying independently having an awareness of these will help you to study more effectively.

Flexible study options
It is entirely your choice to decide which study option would suit you best. You are welcome to use the textbooks or access to Internet for learning environment intermittently, perhaps to see video clips from youtube or take part in web discussions.

Students choose to do external
programmes for a variety of reasons. Whatever your reasons, the following advantages of participating in an external programme will apply to everyone:

Choice of Programmes
Students are given the opportunity to choose from various programmes and courses which are not available in the area where they live in. This is especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas that only have one or two educational facilities, which most of the time, offer limited course and program options for students.

When the total cost of fees, transport, living expenses and release from employment are taken into account, the cost of completing the degree as an external student is significantly less than the cost of traditional education. It is usually possible for employed students on external programmes to keep their jobs, which makes financing their study much easier.

The primary advantage of external Programme is that it allows you to study from the location of your choice. You do not need to leave your home, your family, or possibly your country in order to complete the programme.

After location, time is the greatest limitation on learning. You can learn at your own pace although there will be some timetables and deadlines in place (for example, for project work and term end examination). You can plan how quickly you read the course materials and further reading.

Student-centered teaching approach
Every student has his or her way of learning that works for them, getting an Independent education may help in ensuring that each lesson or material is completely understood before moving on to the next, which in turn, could result to better learning. You have frequent opportunities to gauge what you have learnt and what you have not – there are elements of self assessment to help you monitor your learning.

Suits different types of learner
Learning is presented in a variety of ways: hard-copy textbooks; eBook; audio; interactive exercises; video; and web discussions. This means that people with different learning styles can all utilise the material in a way that suits them.

Perhaps the greatest foe of External Programme is procrastination. Most of us, instructors included, put off the things we need to do until the very last moment. When it comes to education, the last moment is the worst possible moment to learn. Sometimes that lesson is learned the hard way in the form of poor performance on an exam or assignment. But ultimately, you succeed because you realize the importance of doing things on time or even ahead of time. That self-realization propels your success in an External Programme. No one is there looking over your shoulder to tell you to study. No one is there to make you ask questions or post responses. The motivation to study in an External Programme comes from you. The External student takes responsibility for their course of studies and matures into an individual for whom learning and accomplishment are highly valued. In short, your success depends on you!

Lifelong learning
Most of the time, most of what we learn in a course is forgotten within a week or two of the end of classes. Having that spark of interest and knowing how to find information independently insures that what your learning is always available to you. If you become interested in a certain topic, perhaps because of something you see, read or hear about, or perhaps because one of your children or friends has a question, you can get and look it up. You will have developed the skills to find information, digest it, synthesize it and formulate an answer to any question that comes your way.

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