Satisfying, but It's a Long Haul; DISTANCE LEARNING

Daily Mail (London), January 10, 2006 | Go to article overview

Satisfying, but It's a Long Haul; DISTANCE LEARNING


Byline: MARY MORGAN

LONG-HAUL flights were the perfect opportunity for cabin attendant Robert Vogelauer to immerse himself in his books.

He spent six years studying for a Bachelor of Science degree with the Open University and finally graduated this summer.

Mr Vogelauer, 46, from North London, enjoys studying. He already had a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Master of Arts in German literature and wanted to study something technical. So he decided to embark on a Bachelor of Science in computing.

He had tutorials every five to six weeks and took part in online learning support groups designed to answer questions from students.

He said: 'I'm a passionate learner and I do like being a student. But with my job it's difficult to attend regular evening class. With the Open University I was able to take the coursework with me to work and study in my own time.

'Working three months on and one month off is great for studying, and so is long haul. You spend a lot of time waiting and travelling, and in hotels. My laptop and books would go with me all the time.' Mr Vogelauer, who was born in Austria but has lived in Britain for ten years, was initially interested in a career in IT, but he plans to remain with Lufthansa, where he has worked for 19 years. He is eager to begin a new course soon and is considering studying translation.

'These kind of courses work only for self-disciplined people good at time management,' he said. 'There's no one standing over your shoulder telling you to do it. You have to get your work done in time and it's down to you to do it.' Another Open University graduate who shares his love of learning is Dr George Steele, 80, a retired doctor from Carnforth, Lancashire. He also gained a Bachelor of Science this summer after previously studying for a Bachelor of Arts with the OU in the Seventies after retiring.

He believes that staying active is vital for health, and he is now studying courses in ethics at Lancaster University and planning to write his autobiography. At the age of 70, he became the oldest fell walker to complete the Ramblers Association Four Peaks Challenge - 46 miles and four major mountains to scale within 22 hours. …

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