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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 £500 towards your OU study costs or living expenses as a student.

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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 2021/2022, we’re offering 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 100 bursaries of £500 to eligible, new OU students. If your application is successful, you’ll receive a payment of £250 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 in September or October 2021
  • 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

Before you submit an application, make sure you’ve read the full bursary terms and conditions.

You'll need to download and complete our bursary application form, and return it to our Student Fees team. Their contact details are on the application form.

Applications are open, as of 14 June 2021, and close midnight 30 November 2021. We won't accept any applications after this date.

Make sure you complete the application in full and include all the evidence required – applications without supporting evidence won't be considered.

If you're successful, we'll send you an email and letter on or before 10 December 2021.

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