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Flexible education

Friday, November 16, 2012

Do work hours or commitments prevent you from attending scheduled lectures? Do you live or work in a remote area with limited access to higher education? Are you planning to undertake studies which are available at an inconvenient distance from where you live and work?

Then stress no more. The University of the South Pacific has the solution to your problems through its Distance and Flexible Learning (DFL) mode of study. DFL is ideal for people who are unable to study full—time or do not have easy access to one of USP's major campuses. It is also ideal for people who want to be able to fit their studies around their professional and personal commitments and progress through their education at their own pace.

This means that you can undertake a course of study without having to attend lectures 'on campus' or you can study from home without having to relocate. This clearly is ideal for students living in remote places in Fiji and even to international students who want to do USP courses from their home country.

Distance and flexible learning at USP offers you a way to gain a higher education through a variety of modes and technologies. The "distance" apect allows you to take courses and pursue USP programs of study from locations far away from USP's regional campuses. The "flexible" aspect lets you fit tertiary study into your own schedule and in a learning mode that best suits you. When you study by DFL at USP, what you learn is exactly the same as what students learn on campus at USP. The difference is the way in which you learn it.

Approximately half of USP's students choose to study by DFL. The vast geographical distances that USP serves makes it difficult for all students to come to study at one of its campuses. For this reason, USP has been a pioneer in DFL since the 1970s. Collectively USP campuses are located across 33 million square kilometres of ocean covering five different times zones.

Over 400 credit courses are now offered through DFL, representing all USP discipline areas. In distance learning, all or most face—to—face teaching is replaced by other means of communication and learning resources. Students may study through a variety of media. USP students who study through DFL are provided with a mix of printed material, audio and video CDs/DVDs to lectures and tutorials taking place at the Laucala Campus. USP has its own satellite communications network known as the USPNet, which is operated by the Information Technology Services (ITS) at USP. USPNet connects all 12 member countries of USP and is greatly enhancing the learning experience of distance education students.

USP's Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning through its Student Support Services team provides support to students addressing the needs of both DFL and on campus students.


DFL and on campus students also benefit from the online learning management system called Moodle which is used by USP to deliver its courses via the internet. Moodle allows students and lecturers to communicate effectively anytime, anyplace. It allows students to access course notes, submit assignments, do quizzes, and participate in discussion forums and more. Moodle also provides the tools to present online learning in a variety of ways. This can range from structured learning pathways to dynamic, interactive virtual classrooms.

USP currently has over 15,000 Moodle users throughout the region. Many of these users reside in outer islands or in the interior. As long as these students have an internet connection they are able to access all that Moodle has to offer to compliment their studies. Even for urban students, the high cost of transport means that they may not be able to travel to campus every day but are still able to interact with their classmates and their lecturers as well as download course materials and submit their assignments from home.

USP offers its students the very best in education and services. A strong distance education programme supported by USP's satellite communications network, USPNet, delivers state—of—the—art academic course materials to both DFL and on campus students.

USP makes higher education more accessible. If you are unable to study on a full—time basis, it doesn't really matter. USP brings its courses to you. Students can take up courses at USP via DFL mode.

So why wait, enroll at USP now.

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