9th May 2011

Never too old to learn


Education is a wonderful thing and something which should not be taken for granted. YOURLifeChoices subscriber Liz has recently discovered several learning opportunities available for the more mature student and would like to share them with you.

Hi to all the wonderful team at YOURLifeChoices,

Earlier this year I started an online Tertiary Enabling Program through Charles Darwin University with a view to fulfilling a lifelong dream of attaining a university degree. Turning 60 at the end of this year, I thought it was time to check out the opportunities while the brain is still active, even though the body has mobility issues! I'm sure there is a similar online course offered by many other universities.

This course is offered free of charge to qualifying students and can be completed online (also referred to as 'distance learning' or 'external study') and is offered as a full-time course for one semester or part-time for two semesters. There is no obligation to continue on to further university/degree studies on completion. The Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) is designed to help anyone (including recent school leavers) who has not completed the HSC, anyone who hasn't done any formal study for some time, or mature age students who might be contemplating doing tertiary studies. The TEP course is designed to teach the requirements of learning and studying in an academic environment. Course materials and study notes are supplied to students, also free of charge.

Since starting the course I have found out that there is a small education supplement available through Centrelink for pensioners who are studying approved tertiary courses. As a disability pensioner, this extra assistance has helped me to install the latest version of Microsoft Office Suite 2010. The course is based on students having access to either the 2007 or 2010 version of Microsoft Office, neither of which I had on my laptop.

The other information I have found out is that Microsoft, through a third party, offer a very heavily discounted package for Microsoft Home and Office Academic Suite 2010, for all students studying at approved education facilities in Australia. The cost of this full academic version is only $99, compared to the normal retail price of between $300 to $360, a major saving especially to someone on a limited income. The academic version is the same as the full version, but is available only to those with an approved email address as supplied to staff and students through their educational facility.

With more seniors and pensioners looking at further education courses, I thought that other budding mature age students would like to know some of what is available to them.


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