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‘The chance to build a better future’: OU scholarships offer free study opportunity

STUDENT support scholarships worth a total of more than £2.6 million are on offer from The Open University.

The scholarships are aimed at students who might not otherwise be able to afford a degree. 

The OU is offering 132 fully funded degree places for the next academic year 2022-23, offering scholarships, bursaries, and supporttodisabled veterans, black students and carers..  

The Open Futures Fund sits at the heart of the OU’s mission to make higher education accessible to all, championing equity and inclusion, the university says. Since 2014 the OU has awarded more than 300 scholarships and more than 1,000 bursaries, totalling more than £5 million, thanks to the generosity of OU alumni, supporters, and friends. 

Armed Services veteran John Owens was at the top of his military career when a stroke left him hospitalised and facing an uncertain future. With support of The Open University’s Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund, he is now working towards a new career as a personal trainer.

“This scholarship is allowing me and other veterans the chance to build a better future,” said Mr Owens. “I believe teachers and coaches are pivotal to our children’s futures. So the more disabled veterans like me who can be helped to do similar things, the more it benefits our society as a whole.”

The scholarships include:

The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund 

Offering veterans, disabled in or due to military service, access to free Open University education and specialist disability and careers support.

The OU has already provided 210 scholarships and is offering 50 further places in 2022/23 across all undergraduate and postgraduate modules and qualifications.

Successful applicants will have their fees waived for a maximum of 120 credits per seasonal academic year, up to a maximum of 360 credits, which is equivalent to a full Honours degree.

The Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students 

The opportunity for 50 UK-based students, from disadvantaged backgrounds and who identify as black to study to undergraduate level for free. 

A scholarship covers OU undergraduate credit-bearing modules and qualifications, paying for the full tuition cost of a qualification, up to 120 credits each seasonal academic year and 360 credits in total.

The Carers’ Scholarships Fund 

For carers who face disadvantages that may prevent them from pursuing the education that they need. In 2022/23 the OU is offering 20 scholarships to carers, including at least six reserved for young carers aged under 25.  

A scholarship covers OU undergraduate credit-bearing modules and qualifications, paying for the full tuition cost of qualification, up to 120 credits each seasonal academic year and 360 credits in total. In recent years, the OU has provided the equivalent of 91 full scholarships to carers.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships 

The OU has also awarded 15 scholarships, worth a total of £270,000, to fund Ugandan development practitioners to study for a Masters in Global Development.

The scholarships are funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office to enable talented students to access training not otherwise available in their home country, via distance learning. 

Scholars will join in November 2022 and study for three years.

Dr Liz Marr pictured, OU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Students, said: “We hope these scholarships will encourage students to study with us, to rewrite their future and realise their ambitions. Our students tell us of the huge difference study has made to their lives in terms of self-belief and achievement. 

“Central to the OU’s mission is being open to all and these scholarships are true to that mission, thanks to the generosity of our donors and alumni.”

For more information and full Terms & Conditions on the Open Futures Fund programmes visit the application pages

Carers’ Scholarships Fund

The Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students 

Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships

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