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Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students

The Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students offers ten students the opportunity to study for free.

The Open University is committed to driving change and ensuring that academic institutions remain inclusive and accessible for all members of society.

What is the Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students?

The Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students provides an opportunity for new, UK-resident students who identify as Black to study for free.

Ten scholarships will be available in 2024/25. A scholarship covers OU undergraduate credit-bearing modules and qualifications, paying for the full tuition cost of your qualification, up to 120 credits each seasonal academic year and 360 credits in total.

Successful scholarship recipients will also receive a one-off £500 study costs grant to support with the costs of preparing for study with the OU, such as buying a laptop, study materials or arranging internet access.

Why have we created this scholarship?

We launched our Black Students' Support Fund as our data showed that the number of new Black undergraduate students had significantly declined at The Open University...


To be eligible, you’ll need to meet all the following criteria:

  • Identify as being from a Black background; applicants must have one of the following ethnicities:
    • Black African
    • Black Caribbean
    • Black Other
    • Mixed – White and Black Caribbean
    • Mixed – White and Black African
    • Other mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other)
  • Have a personal annual income of not more than £25,000 or receive a qualifying benefit
  • Be ordinarily resident in the UK and eligible for a UK fee
  • Hold no existing higher education qualification
  • Be a new student to The Open University
  • Be intending to study towards an undergraduate OU qualification or module commencing in the 2024/25 academic year
  • Be studying at a minimum intensity of 25% (30 credits) per academic year

What supporting evidence do I need?

You’ll need to provide evidence of your annual personal income or qualifying benefit.

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 3 July 2024. We’ll email you by 19 July 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 Scholarship for Black Students or need help to complete your application, our advisers are here to help. Don’t hesitate to call us on 0300 303 5303 or email us at general-enquiries@open.ac.uk.

Our donors

The Open Futures Scholarship for Black Students Fund wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous donors. The scheme is kindly supported by:

  • Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc
  • The Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation
  • The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation
  • Thales Group UK

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