Improving accessibility to Higher Education at Universidad de Burgos

Universidad de Burgos stands out among Spanish public universities for its commitment to online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, enabling hundreds...
8 March 2024

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Improving accessibility to Higher Education at Universidad de Burgos

Universidad de Burgos stands out among Spanish public universities for its commitment to online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, enabling hundreds of students to pursue their studies remotely, completing the entire process (classes, exams, assessments, etc.) from their homes.

This achievement marks a significant milestone, not only for enhancing accessibility to higher education but also for cost-saving and the ability to balance work-family commitments for many individuals.

In this article, we will analyze a series of data related to social impact indicators collected during the year 2023 and provided by Universidad de Burgos, shedding light on the numerous benefits offered by these online modalities.

A perfect model for professional growth

The first consideration when discussing the choice between an in-person or online bachelor’s or master’s program is individual motivation.

The question is simple: Why do you want to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree at this point in your life?

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While each student will have a specific answer to this question, we, along with UBU, have categorized them into four options:

  1. I want to reinvent myself, change sectors, or have better job opportunities.
  2. I want to grow professionally.
  3. I want to stay updated with current industry training.
  4. Other motivations.

After conducting surveys, it’s clear that the vast majority of students—almost 75%—enroll in these programs to improve their job prospects

Specifically, 43% of respondents have chosen “I want to grow professionally” as their response, while 31% have enrolled to “reinvent themselves.” A smaller percentage (6%) does so to “stay updated,” while 20% have pursued studies for other reasons.

Improving access to Higher Education at Universidad de Burgos

But why choose an online bachelor’s or master’s program?

Once we understand the main motivations of UBU students to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we also wanted to determine why they chose online or remote modalities, as their motivations can also be fulfilled through traditional, in-person higher education.

The responses varied, but one stood out: “I cannot physically attend a campus due to scheduling conflicts with my work or family commitments.”

Seventy-one percent of respondents opted for this option, emphasizing that online education and remote exams are essential for balancing family and work, something increasingly valued in our lives.

Additionally, 21% of students stated they live “far from the evaluation center,” confirming that accessibility to education should be a right for all people, whether they reside in major cities or more remote areas.

Closely related to the previous point, 5% of respondents cited “insufficient financial resources to cover expenses” (high tuition fees, travel, or accommodation costs for in-person attendance), while 4% have some form of “functional diversity” (physical or motor, visual, auditory, intellectual, psychological, multisensory, etc.) that may hinder travel or conventional knowledge acquisition.

Finally, only 1% chose to pursue an online bachelor’s or master’s degree because there was no in-person option, and another 6% cited other reasons.

Work-life Balance, a decisive factor for choosing online education

As evidenced in the preceding paragraphs, 71% of surveyed students chose to pursue their studies online at Universidad de Burgos to balance work and/or family commitments.

Family commitments hold significant importance, with 33% of respondents having children under their care. However, it’s not just children who require attention.

Six percent of surveyed UBU students stated they have other relatives or elderly family members under their care.

Commute challenges in education

Commute challenges in education

Considering that 21% of respondents live far from educational centers, it’s clear that without online bachelor’s or master’s programs, students would have to commute using various modes of transportation.

When asked, 44% of respondents said they would have to use their own vehicle, while only 27% would have access to public transportation, and the least (3%) could carpool.

Some, albeit few, are fortunate, as 3% of these students could walk to their center.

Regarding this point, we also asked how long it would take them to travel using the mentioned transportation options.

The results were overwhelming: 42% would travel more than 4 hours to reach their educational center, which is logical considering Universidad de Burgos has students not only from all over Spain but also from many other countries.

The remaining responses indicate that 6% of students would take between 3 and 4 hours, 13% between 2 and 3 hours, 23% between 1 and 2 hours, and only 16% would take less than an hour.

Online programs have prevented over a ton of CO2 emissions

Online programs have prevented over a ton of CO2 emissions

Taking into account all the responses from Universidad de Burgos students, we can estimate the time and CO2 emissions saved by avoiding these mandatory commutes required by traditional, in-person higher education.

The data is clear: students have saved a significant amount of time—28,800 minutes in commuting and 8,385 minutes in private vehicles—and the planet has saved many CO2 emissions, specifically 1,138 kg.

In conclusion, all the data collected in this joint case study with UBU confirms that remote education democratizes knowledge and is much more sustainable than traditional education formats.

However, it’s essential to implement online evaluation strategies such as remote proctoring to achieve a 100% quality online education like the one Universidad de Burgos offers.

It’s worth remembering that this university stands out for its commitment to delivering official online bachelor’s programs, maintaining the same level of rigor and excellence as in traditional programs.

This institution has extensive experience transitioning traditional degrees to digital modalities, giving it profound knowledge in implementing technologies to ensure teaching quality and the validity of the degrees offered.

This approach broadens the internationalization perspective that many universities may have, demonstrating that it’s possible to offer online programs with quality standards equivalent to in-person ones. 

More than 15% of Universidad de Burgos students are enrolled in online degree programs.

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Request a free demo and follow in the footsteps of Universidad de Burgos and other universities and companies that have already embraced more accessible and sustainable education.

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