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Graduates see £200,000 additional career earnings

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Graduates of The Open University in Scotland whose highest prior qualification is National 5s could earn an extra £200,000 on average in real terms over their career

85 per cent of Open University graduates remain in the location where they studied retaining talent and skills in communities across every part of Scotland   

In total, activities by The Open University in Scotland boosted the economy by £217.4m in 2018-19

Report shows the value of boosting skills and employability as part of Covid-19 recovery

Graduates with National 5s or below as their highest prior attainment completing a part-time degree at The Open University in Scotland are estimated to earn an average of £200,000 more in real terms over the rest of their career.

This is according to The economic and social impact of The Open University in 2018-19 report from London Economics, which found that the institution’s open entry policy, allowing students below the usual entry level requirements of traditional universities, offered potentially significant financial benefit over the course of a career.

Infographic - The OU's direct, indirect and induced impact originating from expenditure/employment in Scotland is £55mThe report, in addition to quantifying benefit to the individual, demonstrates the big picture impact of investing in skills and employability as Scotland navigates the Covid-19 pandemic.

Activities by The Open University in Scotland boosted the UK economy by £217.4m in 2018-19. Of this, formal teaching and learning make up £160m. 

The direct impact from The Open University’s expenditure and employment in Scotland is £55 million, with 570 people employed. 

The vast majority (85%) of OU graduates remain in the location where their study was undertaken, meaning investment in talent and skills benefits local communities across every corner of Scotland.

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, commented:

“High-quality flexible online learning can play a significant role in helping Scotland recover from Covid-19. The Open University supports those hardest hit by the pandemic with the chance to retrain and reskill and those who are the least qualified to boost their future career opportunities by gaining qualifications.

“Our impact can be seen in every corner of Scotland, with distance learning helping workers who have improved their skills or gained qualifications stay within their local communities. Beyond the important contribution to the economy, there is significant human impact too, helping people improve their job satisfaction, self-esteem and wellbeing.”

Infographic - average graduate premiumThe report highlights potential career earnings for those studying with the OU modelled on an OU graduate who has completed a part-time degree in 2018-19 at the age of 37, the average OU graduate age. Those in Scotland with National 5s or below are estimated to earn an average of £200,000 more in real terms over the rest of their career and those with Highers or equivalent as their highest prior qualification saw an estimated average benefit of £129,000 overall, equivalent to an NPV (Net Present Value) of £110,000 and £68,000 respectively.

UK-wide, two in three alumni (66%) reported improvements in their working life and professional prospects – across factors such as job satisfaction, pay and promotion opportunities and employability. Of this group, 91 per cent said the OU had helped them achieve this.

Beyond what ends up in graduates’ pockets, almost all respondents (94%) said that study at the OU had improved at least one aspect of their personal development. The majority of alumni (85%) say that their OU studies improved their skillset in relation to their job or area of work. Most alumni (85%) also believe that the skills acquired through learning with the OU could be used across a range of jobs and industries.

Crucially, 86 per cent of alumni said that their time with the OU had contributed to an improvement in their personal wellbeing – including increased confidence, self-esteem and general quality of life.


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