[Column] Jens Ischebeck: How East African students can pay for online courses
With developing technology that has promoted reliable and stable internet connectivity among east African countries, students from the region can now take their courses in the comfort of their homes.
Udemy and Coursera are examples of online courses platforms providing thousands of online courses from certificate programs to doctorate programs. Some of these courses are offered at a free cost while others have tuition fee similar to, less than or occasionally more than on-campus courses.
Thus, depending on the course students are enrolling on, they must familiarize themselves with the necessary requirements for successful completion of the courses.
Studying online saves a lot of cash and time for online students compared to on-campus studying. Online courses can be taken by any student. The only requirements are a laptop or desktop that is in good working condition, reliable source of power and stable internet connectivity.
Fortunately enough, the East African countries are working to ensure that there is stable and reliable internet within the region.
By the way, see here an article about how to pay with a prepaid Kreditkarte.
Determining how much to pay for Online courses
Paying for the online courses a student is taking depends on some factors which are :
The type of course a student is taking
The amount of tuition fee paid depends on the courses students are taking. This implies that some courses have higher tuition fee than others. For instance, in Udemy, online Microsoft Office Courses (which comprises of MS Excel, MS Word, PowerPoint, Access, etc) are offered at a different fee from online Communication courses (for example The Art of Communication course).
This is also the case with Coursera courses. An online course in Data Science (such as Introduction to R) is offered at a different fee from a Computer Science course (such as Programming with Java). Thus, payments are based on the course students are taking.
The number of courses a student is taking
The number of online courses you can take is limitless. In fact, there is no restriction to the number of courses you can take.
However, the more the number of courses you enroll in, the more the tuition fee. Therefore, if you take many courses you will pay much more than if you were taking only one course. It is thus important to take only the courses you can afford.
The course program
Online courses are specified into several programs. There are courses under the certificate program, diploma program, degree program, Master’s program and Doctorate program. Each program has different payment amounts for its courses.
For instance, courses under the degree program have higher tuition fee than courses under the diploma program. Also note that before you enroll in some degree courses, you are required to have completed some courses under either diploma or certificate program.
The learning platform
There are many online learning platforms offering online courses besides Coursera and Udemy such as Edx, Teachable, CourseCraft and Eliademy. Each of this platforms offers its courses at a different fee for similar courses.
For instance, an introduction to Java course in Coursera will cost different than the same course in Udemy. So, it’s important to check the platforms offering the course of your interest and then compare each platform’s cost to the other before enrolling.
How East African students can pay for Udemy and Coursera online courses
As an East African student, you can determine the amount to pay for your courses based on the above four reasons. Thus, you should carefully determine the number of courses you are taking, the course program, the course type and the learning platform.
When taking your courses in Coursera or Udemy, here are the accepted payment methods that you can use to pay for your courses.
Udemy online courses payment methods
Udemy online courses can be paid through PayPal, Debit Card, Credit Card or via the Udemy mobile app for Androids. The payments are done through the Udemy website except for the Udemy mobile app.
When making the payments through the website, you are required to choose the Take This Course option for the course of your interest. This will then direct you to a payment page with the payment options.
The available options on the payment page are making payments through PayPal, Credit card or by redeeming a coupon (this is a promotional payment option which is present in some of the courses). PayPal and Credit card are the most used payment methods.
If you choose the Credit Card option, you will feed in your Card’s details as required.
On the other hand, the PayPal option will redirect you to the PayPal page for payments.
After successful payment, you are sent back to the previous payments page. You have then successfully paid for the course.
If you are interested in taking more than one courses, choose the add to the cart option in the payment page which allows you to pay for another course. You can then choose as many courses as you wish by adding them to your cart and purchasing all of them at once.
Payments can also be done through the Udemy mobile app. If you download the app, which is available in the google play store, it guides you through the payment process.
Coursera online courses payments
As in Udemy, learners can make payments through Debit card, Credit Card, PayPal or Coursera mobile app. However, if you are from East Africa, you cannot make your payments via PayPal but only through Debit Card, Credit Card or the Coursera mobile app.
To make payments, you are required to log into your Coursera account, choose the home page for the course of interest and then enroll. This will apply when you are paying using a debit card or a credit card.
On the other hand, making payments via the Coursera mobile app requires you to pay on the checkout page using the saved card from your account.
After paying for a Coursera online course, you have 180 days (approximately 6 months) to complete the course and earn yourself the course certificate.
Jens Ischebeck is a website publisher. His main sites are the edtech website apps-for-learning.com (about e-learning & online courses) and the fintech website apps-for-money-transfer.com (online money transfers).
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