General
07 Feb 2007

UK consumers take control of their financial destiny - thanks to the OU

Personal finance study

Personal finance study

The Open University’s financial literacy course is to run twice a year after attracting triple the target student numbers.

November 2006 saw The Open University run its first course in financial literacy – You and Your Money: Personal Finance in Context. Aimed at improving the nation’s financial understanding and enabling people to pursue a more stable financial future, the course successfully attracted more than three times the predicted number of students.

The course has proved so popular with its first intake of 1,450 that a second presentation has been brought forward by six months and will now run from May 2007.

Commenting on the success of You and Your Money, course chair Ian Fribbance, of the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “The need for financial education is at an all-time high, so I’m thrilled that the course has been so popular – we have more than 1400 students due to complete the course in May of this year and a further 200 have already signed up for the next presentation.

"This not only proves that the OU’s mission to educate people about important financial issues such as debt is working, but also highlights the British public’s overwhelming desire to gain a thorough grounding in financial matters. It is our hope that the course will help consumers take firm control of their financial decision-making which will in turn aid them in avoiding financial problems in the future.”

You and Your Money draws upon some of the most common issues affecting consumers – borrowing and debt, planning for retirement, family finances, for example – and develops consumers’ practical financial skills. Importantly, the course places the study of personal finance firmly within the broader social and economic background – having an understanding of this background gives people a fuller understanding of the subject matter and better prepares them for financial planning.

The course focuses on four broad themes:
- the importance of the changing economic and social environment to personal finances;
- the relationship between individuals and households in financial matters, including couples managing their money, the financial implications of having children or caring for an elderly parent;
- the importance of change over time on income and spending plans;
- financial planning, including the use of personal balance sheets, budgeting and cashflow statements.

Personal finance planning tools are included in the course materials, which also include print, DVD-Rom and website material. A personal tutor is available to provide advice and guidance with studies.

Potential students looking for more information can log in at www.open.ac.uk, call 0845 300 60 90 or email general-enquiries@open.ac.uk

Editor’s Notes
The course fee for UK students will be £295. Financial support, dependent on household income, may be available for students across the UK. For more information, visit the website link, right:
Closing date for registrations is April 13. Course team members are available for interview.

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