Distance no barrier for Christos

Distance learner, Christos Fragos (with wife and daughter) travelled from Greece specially for his graduation

Distance learner, Christos Fragos (with wife and daughter) travelled from Greece specially for his graduation

Distance has been no barrier to learning for Christos Fragos, who has made the special trip from home in Greece in order to be present at graduation.

Christos studied towards the top-up BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems degree via the University of Portsmouth’s distance learning (DL) programme.

He started his course about 20 years after he first completed his HND, and admits that the challenge had scared him.

“I knew that in a period of three years many things can happen that could prevent me from completing the course,” he said. “However, I had promised myself that I would do everything possible in order to successfully complete it.”

As well his studies, Christos faced a number of challenges. His father and another close relative passed away, he lost his job, and he had to deal with the results of the bad economic situation in Greece.

Christos explained that he managed to overcome these difficulties.

“I found a new job as a test engineer and I was lucky enough to base my final year project on a research on software testing. Also, I managed to pass all the units and the results made me very happy,” he said.

Reflecting on his course, Christos said he gained much more than the degree itself.

“I have enriched my knowledge on some very important subjects and had the privilege to discuss with some brilliant minds as my lecturers are,” he said. “And finally, I gained a lot of confidence and built a much stronger character than I used to be. This last thing I believe will help me in my career ahead and my life.

“For all the above things I would to thank each one of you and the University of Portsmouth. I would also like to thank you for all the help, support, and encouragement you have provided.”

Christos is already making plans for his future. “Next year, I am thinking to apply for an MRes Technology (DL) degree at the University of Portsmouth,” he said.

Deputy Admissions Tutor for Undergraduate degrees in the School of Computing, Dr Thanos Paraskelidis, explained how the University works to ensure distance learning is effective for all students.

“Among the students are many professionals who have limited time, quite often living in different countries with different time zones,” he said. “Although planning and delivery teaching sessions is challenging, as Christos’s experience shows, it is very worthwhile.

“All of our teaching material is made available through our online virtual learning environment way ahead every session,” he added.

“There is online access to the same library resources and services for our DL students, as for our on-campus students. We also make sure we provide ample time for lecturers to prepare and deliver the sessions, and to provide feedback and guidance to students.

“Everyone here was delighted to hear from Christos that our work had meant that study had been such a positive experience for him. We wish him the very best for the future.”

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