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Trade unions

At The Open University in Wales we work with trade unions to offer higher education to union members.

Wales TUC Cymru 

(L-R) Julie Cook (Wales TUC), Kevin Pascoe, Jos Andrews and Ruth Brooks (The Open University in Wales)We have been working closely with the Wales TUC for over a decade and the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between The Open University in Wales and the Wales TUC sets out how we work together to support the learning of union members across Wales.

Both The Open University in Wales and the Wales TUC are built on a common purpose - to support the personal development, career development, and lifelong learning of people throughout Wales.

The Open University was the first and only university to receive the Wales TUC Quality Award for our ‘Openings’ suite of introductory courses and the extensive support provided to unions and union learners across Wales. In 2014 The Open University was also the first university to receive three Wales TUC Quality Awards for our workplace outreach activity to support engagement with OpenLearnFutureLearn and Access modules amongst non-traditional learners.


The Royal College of Nursing in Wales

The Open University in Wales and the Royal College of Nursing in Wales joined forces in 2006 to encourage greater participation in learning and development across nursing in Wales. Between us, we offer a wide range of courses and support in healthcare designed to have an impact on practice and patient care and career development.

The OU in Wales supports the RCN Wales network of learning representatives and has sponsored the RCN Nurse of the Year Awards in Wales and a range of practice development focused conferences.

Find out more about our partnership with the RCN on our dedicated website



Kevin PascoeThe Open University and UNISON began working closely together in 1997. Our joint aim is based on a shared goal – to widen access to education and training and to extend learning opportunities to those who have previously been unable to access them. The partnership has been particularly successful supporting health care support workers, social care workers and teaching assistants across Wales.

Thousands of UNISON members have successfully studied with us and in so doing, they have not only enhanced their own confidence, skills and understanding, but they have also helped to bring about visible improvements to public services and patient care across Wales.

The OU and UNISON partnership was awarded the Times Higher Education’s Widening Participation Initiative of the Year for innovative projects in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about our partnership with UNISON on our dedicated website


Wales Union Learning Fund

As well as formal partnership agreements with the Wales TUC, UNISON and The Royal College of Nursing, The Open University in Wales works closely with Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) projects which are led by Unite the Union, USDAW, PCS, FBU, NUT and the Royal College of Midwives.