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Could your employer pay your fees?

Open University graduates are in demand. A huge 75% of our alumni say that they’ve experienced career progression thanks to their Open University studies.

With sponsorship, your employer could pay part or all of your tuition fees. Progress your career with studies that fit around your life and work.

Young man at work

Employers recognise the value of Open University graduates and their qualifications. It’s one of the reasons why 78% of FTSE 100 companies have sponsored their own staff to study with us, and why we regularly train staff at more than 1,300 employers, including IBM, Sky and Oxford University.

If you’re working, and your modules and qualifications are relevant to your job or career development, your employer might be willing to sponsor you by paying some or all of your course fees.

Talking to employers about sponsorship

Whether or not your employer is willing to sponsor you will generally depend on who your employer is. But, you’re more likely to secure funding if the course you’re interested in is relevant to your current job and it’ll benefit your employer too.

In some instances, you won’t be able to progress in your field without significant experience or a higher education qualification.

Some larger organisations already have sponsorship schemes in place – talk to your line manager or HR department to see if they’ll sponsor OU study.

When talking to any employer about being sponsored, try to think about the following:

  • What study or personal development have you done already? Your employer may want to see evidence of your commitment to study or self-improvement.
  • How will OU study help you in your current role? Have a clear idea of where you want to improve, or where you want to get to.
  • What are your future goals? How do they fit in with your employer? They’ll want to know how you can best benefit the company during and after your studies.

Talking in detail about the course(s) you want to study and how you’ll apply them to your work will show how you’ve given OU study serious thought.

Did you know?

More than one in ten of our students are sponsored by their employer, which means their employer pays for their studies.

How do I register with sponsorship?

If your employer says yes to sponsoring you, you’ll first need to reserve on your module(s). You can do that online, through your StudentHome page, or over the phone with us.

Either way you reserve, your employer will need to complete our sponsorship form so you can send it back to us. You can either receive this through the post, or you can download it from your StudentHome.

If your employer is only partially sponsoring you, you’ll need to make sure you have another payment method secured to fund the remainder of your module fee(s). Our mixed payments page can help you with your options.

James Robinson at graduation ceremony

I was keen to develop my career and my work sponsored me through my first year of study. My degree has really supported my progression. I've now been promoted to the role of Senior Product Design and Development Engineer.

James Robinson, BSc (Hons) Design and Innovation

I am fortunate enough to have an employer who has funded 50% of my studies. I can honestly say that studying with the OU was one of the most positive, life changing decisions I have ever made.

Sam Evans, studying BSc (Hons) Physical Sciences