Since it opened the OU has charged fees, often different rates for different students. In the context of other universities charging fees (see here) on 19th July the OU announced that the fee level for new students in England starting their studies on or after 1 September 2012 is to be £5,000 per full-time equivalent study year (120 credits). In Wales, the cost incurred by OU students is likely to be lower than in England as a result of additional support from the Welsh Government. In Northern Ireland, there is yet to be a decision on future fees.
The OU expects fees in Scotland to be similar to those published for 2011/12. In general across Scotland there are no tuition fee to undergraduates at conventional universities as higher education is funded out of general taxation. Under European law Scottish universities must admit students from other EU countries on exactly the same basis. However, that rule does not apply to the English. Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will pay £9,000 a year as Scotland is entitled to discriminate against its own nationals. However, it is not permitted for an EU Member State to discriminate against nationals of another Member State, and so students from Latvia will study for free. OU students, like others will pay a different fee depending on where they live.
Is this part of a trend which can be seen as part of the mainstreaming of the OU?
You can find out more about the change in fees and what it means for current and new students, and employers and partners, on a new Fees 2012 section on the OU’s website.