Ken Maharajah is studying on the BA (Hons) Illustration course from the University of Hertfordshire, delivered 100% online by IDI. At 62 years old, he was initially concerned about going back to education as a mature student. However, with the close support of his tutors and fellow students, his concerns are now well behind him and Ken is thoroughly enjoying the experience of studying towards an accredited degree online.
“I thought online study could be inferior compared to being on campus. However, this was the biggest surprise for me. The BA (Hons) has to meet the same standards as any university course and is continually monitored to that effect. It is the convenience of reduced costs, a flexible schedule around my commitments and the same end results as attending university that make studying online ideal for me. Rather than being tied down to classroom attendance with time and cost factors, I can fit the degree around my life.
“The most challenging aspect of this course is my own lack of confidence. Every new module we start, I say the same thing: ‘I won’t be able to do this, it’s too difficult to understand,’ yet I have completed my first year and successfully done all the modules. This has been possible because of the kind support of my tutors and my fellow students on the IDI forum. We all seem to go through this, but it’s so nice to have the moral support even though it’s distance learning.
“This degree isn’t about information that is out-dated; it’s highly current and applicable to the profession now. So, my approach to a brief, how to generate ideas and how to realise these into a final result is the current professional practice. In this way IDI is equipping me for the real practical world of illustrating, not just the theory.
“You have to be organised to schedule the module workload weekly. However, most of the hard work is already done by IDI with the provision of a timetable and suggested schedules provided. There is a great degree of flexibility allowing for the different learning speeds of us students within the schedule.
“If you have any questions, which are only to be expected, talk to the IDI staff and they will go out of their way to help and reassure. They want you to be a part of this experience.”