Pictured above is Mr John D’Arcy, Director of Open University Ireland, presenting a Kindle Fire to Year 13 student Olivia O’Hanlon. Also pictured is Principal Mr Oliver Mooney and Vice-principal Mrs Una McNulty.
The Open University is a regular exhibitor at the UCAS fair, which attracts around 300 schools, colleges, recruiters and gap year companies year for those thinking about what and where to study in higher education. School leavers have the opportunity to meet representatives from universities and colleges in order to find out more about the courses and options available to them.
This year, Upper and Lower 6th pupils from schools across Northern Ireland were invited to participate in a competition to win a Kindle Fire, by correctly answering a series of questions about The Open University.
Olivia was the lucky winner in the competition which received 142 entries. John D’Arcy, Director of the OU in Ireland visited St Paul’s on 15 April to present Olivia with her prize and to meet Principal Mr Oliver Mooney and Mrs Una McNulty, Vice Principal for Standards.
Mr D’Arcy said “We are delighted to award this prize today. Young people aged 16- 21 now form around 8% of our student body here in Northern Ireland, as our flexible, part-time approach is attractive to school leavers as they have the option to work and study at the same time.
Also, for individuals from areas outside the urban centres of Northern Ireland, who may find travel to a conventional campus-based university difficult, the OU’s flexible distance learning approach is also very attractive. The OU model means that people can study where and when they like, via online tutorials and through mobile devices on the move.”
Olivia said: “I am really happy to have won this prize. It was fantastic to learn more about The Open University as a possible study option when I leave school.”
Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal of St Paul’s, said that he was delighted to see how the OU has developed and commented on its great versatility for students of all ages who wish to study to degree level and beyond. He also invited Mr D’Arcy back to St Paul’s to talk to staff about further professional study opportunities available through the OU. Mr Mooney said, “New technology has shrunk the distance in distance learning so that relevant courses are literally at our fingertips.”