Where do you hold a graduation ceremony when you’re one of the world’s most prestigious (and popular) distance learning institutions with students from 107 different countries?
Open University Business School chose to graduate its latest crop of MBAs in the chichi French royal seat of Versailles.
The Open University (OU) was founded in the UK in 1969 and offers its students “part-time higher education, supported distance and open learning.”
The OU business students in this graduation video come across as a mature, experienced bunch. The vast majority of them are in full-time work, often balancing it with raising a family and extensive travelling.
Throw hardcore studying into the mix and it seems that the ones who reach graduation are exceptionally hard workers, if not slightly crazy.
“I can’t believe I’ve finished it,” says one student, who’s photographed in her graduation gown surrounded by her family. “I had tears in my eyes when I was being dressed,” she says.
Others discuss the value of the degree programs they’ve just completed. Though it seems like a lot of work at the start, time passes very quickly and the rewards are great, says one grad who has just finished a three-year program.
“I enjoyed learning seriously again,” says another. The material he covered helped both his work and private life, he adds.
The highest praise comes from one student who described in concrete terms how her MBA helped her become a better manager.
“I’m a lot more considered,” she says. “I’ve learned the art of letting people get on with things. I’ve learned how to delegate.”
“It’s brilliant because you find you’re getting much better at your job.”
Here’s the video of OU Business School’s September 2009 graduation ceremony.