Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. About us
  3. Strategy and policy

Strategy and policy

The Open University is Scotland’s most popular provider of part-time higher education, accounting for over half of all undergraduates studying part-time. It is our responsibility to advocate on behalf of our students, and part-time students generally, to make sure that their needs and interests are taken into account in higher education policy and by decision-makers.

Nicola Sturgeon: LovePartTime campaignWe work with:

Part-time study widens access to higher education and makes an immediate economic impact. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP is pictured at the Scottish Parliament, right, supporting our '#LovePartTime' campaign



Stat graphic - 17% of new undergraduates live in Scotland's 20% most disadvantaged areas
17% of new graduates joined without standard university entrance qualifications

In May 2017, OU in Scotland Director Susan Stewart welcomed delegates from more than 30 organisations to a seminar in Glasgow, to discuss the place of adult learning in widening access to higher education in Scotland. Keynote speaker was Professor Sir Peter Scott, Fair Access Commissioner of the Scottish Government. Hear from Professor Scott by watching the video below, or read a summary of the seminar.

Consultation responses

Read our consultation responses and briefing papers.



 Strategy for growth

Students First: Strategy for Growth 

We are proud to be the only University that operates across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our four-nation perspective is a distinctive source of strength and value. We are able to bring the benefits of scale but flex to meet the specific social, economic and cultural needs in each nation.

We aim to increase the positive impact that The Open University has on the world through our teaching, research and engagement. Putting our students first, we focus on:

  • Enabling more students to achieve a qualification
  • Providing enhanced employability and career progression outcomes for students
  • Enhancing our academic excellence
  • Leading in digital innovation 
  • Developing a more adaptive organisation and culture
  • Diversifying our income and reducing our costs

Read more about our mission, vision and values.

The Open University's Annual Report

Read The Open University's interactive Annual Report 2016/17.

OU in Scotland Outcome Agreement

Outcome agreements set out what universities plan to deliver in return for their funding from the Scottish Funding Council. Their focus is on the contribution that universities make towards improving life chances, supporting world-class research and creating sustainable economic growth for Scotland.

The OU in Scotland Corporate Parenting Plan 2018

The OU is Scotland’s ‘widening access university’, offering flexible higher education to people from the widest possible range of backgrounds.  Our commitment to supporting our care experienced students is part of our ethos and purpose.

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (part 9) places statutory ‘corporate parenting’ responsibilities on all post‐16 education bodies. 

Our Corporate Parenting Plan also aligns with the OU-wide Widening Access and Success policy, and our Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Funding Council.  


*The proportion of part-time undergraduates is based on 2016-17 HESA data

Contact us:

Kenny Stewart
Communications and Policy Manager,
call 0131 549 7961.

Request your prospectus

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus