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Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarship

The Open University believes accessible education is a powerful tool for social mobility, improving people’s lives, and building better communities.

The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarship is offering the opportunity for 12 students to study up to 360 credits for free.

What is the Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarship?

The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarship provides an opportunity for new, UK-resident students who have been displaced from their homeland or place of residence for political, economic, ethnic, environmental, or human rights pressures to study for free.

12 scholarships will be available in 2024/25. A scholarship covers up to 360 credits of OU undergraduate credit-bearing study, paying for the full tuition cost of these credits, up to 120 credits each seasonal academic year.

Successful scholarship recipients will also receive a free starter pack of equipment to ensure they are ready to study. The starter pack will include a laptop with Microsoft Office, a laptop case, a keyboard and mouse, a printer, printer ink and paper.

10 free 30-credit Open University Access module places starting in October 2024 will be available to applicants unsuccessful for a full scholarship.


To be eligible for a scholarship, you must meet all the following criteria.

  • Be a forced migrant to the United Kingdom and unable to access student finance by being:
    • a person who is an Asylum Seeker
    • a person resident in England and granted limited leave to enter or remain due to an application for asylum or an application made on Human Rights grounds. (This category doesn’t apply to applicants ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.)
  • Be ordinarily resident in the UK
  • Hold no existing higher education qualification attained in the UK
  • Be a new student to The Open University in the academic year 2024/25
  • Be intending to enrol for an undergraduate OU module commencing in the 2024/25 academic year.
  • Be studying at a minimum intensity of 25% (30 credits) per academic year

Full details of the scheme are available in the scholarship terms and conditions.

How to apply

We’re now accepting applications for the 2024/25 academic year. You’ll need to download the full scholarship terms and conditions and the application form to apply.

Once completed, please email your application and supporting evidence to our Student Fees team. You’ll find their contact details on the first page of the application form.

Applications close at midday on 17 July 2024. We’ll email you by 2 August 2024 to confirm if you’re successful. We’ll also contact you to ensure you’re ready to study and, if needed, help you choose your course.

Need more information?

If you’ve got a question about the Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarship or need help completing your application, our advisers are here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us on 0300 303 5303 or email us at general-enquiries@open.ac.uk.

Our donors

The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarship Fund wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous donors. The scheme has been kindly supported by Mbili Charitable Trust.

If you would like to support the fund, please email us to discuss donating.