If you are unable to get admission to a National University based on Z scores, you can follow an external degree or Open University OU degree program. If you can spend more money then you can also follow local or foreign degrees offered by Private Educational Institutes.
In this post we are going to discuss pros and cons of following these two distance learning degree programs.
OU degrees are offered by Open University of Sri Lanka, while External Degree Programs are offered by other National Universities in Sri Lanka. Some Universities that conduct these external degree programs are:
- University of Sri Jayewardenepura Eg. BSc Business Administration
- University of Colombo Eg. BIT offered by UCSC
- University of Kelaniya
- University of Peradeniya
- University of Ruhuna
- BIT offered by Moratuwa University
Teaching and Leaning – OU vs External
Open University conducts lectures, practical classes and give more comprehensive study materials to students. Though OU is said to be a distance learning program, many students say that they have to follow these courses full time. As OU has separate full time teaching staff they may conduct their lectures during weekdays or weekends. Sometimes you may find it difficult to follow OU degree with a full time Job.
OU students have to do more work and spend more time in completing these degrees, as you have to spend more time on lecturers and practical classes. Cost of OU degrees are also higher.
However in Open University you can do various types of courses with Practicals and field classes in Science, Agriculture, Pharmacy, Nursing, Law, Education, Engineering etc. which are not available as external degrees.
Open University also provide you with a broader University Education similar to full time National University. You can enjoy real campus life with your batch-mates and participate in various events and field trips organize by fellow undergraduates, and participate in Sports and extra-curricular activities of the OU.
External Degree Programs
For External degrees, each university conducts seminars and provide study materials, however you have to follow separate classes conducted by various educational (tuition) institutes. You have to pay registration and examination fees to the University and you also have to spend money on Private Tuition classes.
Many Management and Arts stream external degrees do not have assignments and you can complete the degrees by sitting year end exams. Hence you can complete External degrees while doing a full time employment, as Seminars and Tuition classes are held during weekends. However, one issue with some of these external degree programs is that they do not release results in time and the course administration is poor, as these programs enroll huge number of students.
Employability of Graduates
External Degree certificates clearly mention that it is an External Degree. Hence Employer can distinguish that you have an External Degree or Open University degree and not a degree obtained from a National University by looking at the certificate.
However, you can apply many government Jobs, such as Sri Lanka Customs, Foreign Service, Civil service (SLAS), if you have either OU degree or External degree, as these require degree from a recognized University.
If you are applying for a job in government or private sector, employability depends on the subject matter as well as other employability skills you have. If you obtain experience and other work related skills such as team work, leadership, while following external or OU degree, then you are likely to be get a better employment.
Validity of Degree Certificates
Degree certificates are issued by Open University of Sri Lanka or External Degrees by other Universities are accepted as equal to those Degree certificates issued to graduates who follow internal University course. Hence you can enroll local or foreign higher degree programs such as MSc, MA, MBA, MPhil or PhD degrees with these degree certificates.