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Open Futures Bursaries

If you’re new to the OU and come from a black, Asian, or other minority ethnic background, you could be eligible for £1000 towards your OU study costs or living expenses as a student.

Student outside, studying during some free time

Our Open Futures Bursaries

The Open University is open to all – that means we want to do our best to ensure that the OU reflects the whole of our society. For the academic year 2020/2021, we’re launching our Open Futures Bursaries specifically for students who identify as being from a black, Asian or other minority ethnic background. We’re committed to improving the representation of these communities at the OU, with support that helps students fulfil their potential and succeed.

What does an Open Futures Bursary offer?

We’re offering 50 bursaries of £1000 to eligible, new OU students. If your application is successful, you’ll receive a payment of £500 in each of your first academic two years of OU study. This can be used towards study costs or other living expenses.


To qualify, you’ll need to meet all the following criteria:

  • identify as being from a black, Asian or other minority ethnic background
  • have a household income of not more than £25,000 a year, or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit
  • be ordinarily resident in the UK
  • eligible for a UK fee
  • new to The Open University – you’ll need to have not taken any of our credit-bearing modules, including Access modules, before
  • not already hold a higher education qualification
  • studying your first Open University module, which starts no later than 31 October 2020
  • studying towards an undergraduate Open University qualification
  • studying at least 30 credits per academic year.

What supporting evidence do I need?

You’ll need to provide evidence of your household income or qualifying benefit.

How to apply for an Open Futures Bursary

Applications for our Open Futures Bursary closed at midnight on 18 September 2020.

If you applied, we’ll send you an email and letter on or before 31 October 2020 to notify you of the outcome of your application.

Please ensure you’ve read the full bursary terms and conditions.


Our donors

The Open Futures Bursary wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous donors.

The scheme is kindly supported by Mr Howard and Mrs Elizabeth Brown, BA.