Because distance learning is normally done part-time, acquiring an honours degree is going to take longer than attending a standard university - six years instead of three years, perhaps. But the opportunity to combine part-time study with work can be a godsend.
For one 23-year-old international skier, travelling the world while competing for Team GB, full-time attendance at university was not an option. But thanks to distance learning, she has acquired a psychology degree through the Open University, mugging up on Freud and Jung in ski resorts across the world.
Distance learning as an option for young people, and not just those of more advanced years, is clearly taking off. There are now 29,000 OU students under the age of 25. The majority work part or full-time while they study.