The OU has today (Tuesday 29 May) announced that it’s withdrawing the union fee discount for new undergraduate students.
The discount withdrawal applies to new undergraduates beginning their study in England from 1 September 2012, and is due to changes to the way higher education is funded in England and the cost associated with maintaining the scheme.
Changes to the way higher education is funded in England have reduced the OU’s income by more than £90 million. The OU is therefore reviewing all of its costs in order to protect services to students and keep fees as low as possible, while sustaining high quality and remaining true to its mission of being open to all.
The OU remains committed to the union partnerships which have been successful under the previous funding system. However, the new funding arrangements mean the OU needs to explore new ways to maintain and develop opportunities for trades union members in England to study with the OU.
Government changes mean that the vast majority of part-time students in England considering starting their studies after 1 September 2012 can now access student loans for the very first time. Students accessing the government’s Part-time Tuition Fee Loan can defer payment of their fees until four years after commencing their studies and will only begin repayments if they are earning more than £21,000.
The arrangements for the funding of higher education are different across the four nations of the UK and internationally. To find out more about the financial support options that may be available to you, please see here.
For more information, including FAQs, please visit www.open.ac.uk/uniondiscount
What do you think of the discount withdrawal? Share your thoughts in the forum here (and please note you'll need to be logged in with your OU username and password to do so)