Distance learning Hollywood star

Pop Culture Distance Learning

Many years ago the idea of a phone without a cord and with the ability to make you contactable from pretty much any place on Earth – except my living room apparently – would have been both unfathomable and unfashionable, as early 90’s pop-culture can readily attest. Skinny jeans and streamlined corporate wear would have been met with the kind of derision that the poor monkey from France faced when surfacing on the shore of Hartlepool way back when. And once over, distance learning was deemed the safe house of the social outcast and the lazy slacker for whom structure and discipline were above and beyond.

But as with fashion and technology, educational trends change and the attitudes toward them do too. And, with this realisation from the world that distance learning and distance learners are just like any other student in their thirst for knowledge and quest for success, so comes its inevitable acceptance into the conscious of popular culture.

The popular culture – whether that is film, television, sport and or music – is infiltrated with people of huge talent who, because of those talents, have often taken to forgoing certain steps of their educational journey. So inundated is the popular Zeitgeist with such success stories that you’d often be forgiven for thinking they were advocating the drop out of education rather than painting these fortunate few as the exception to the general rule.

But what happens if and when the music stops and there’s no chair to fall back on? What do such people have as their safety net? Well here we take a look at five famous faces who, at various points of their fame, teamed up their role as celebrity with a role as a distance learner.


Arnold Schwarznegger

Distance learner Arnold Schwarznegger

The terminator was an early advocate of the distant learning mode of transport and a distance learner when distance learning was still very much underground.

Way back in 1979, the two-term Governor of California was still plying his trade as one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time when he enrolled on and earned a BA in Business and international economics, from one of the first providers of distance learning courses, the University of Wisconsin.

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