Recent government research evidenced that more than half of Black children who live in the UK are living in poverty. Black students are also currently under-represented at The Open University compared with the rest of the sector: across the wider UK university sector for 2019/2020, 9% of new undergraduate students were from Black backgrounds, compared with just over 3% at The Open University. It’s important to us that we start to close this gap between The Open University and the rest of the sector, and we are actively working to demonstrate to Black students that the OU is the right place for them to realise their ambitions and potential.
We know that offering everyone the same support, regardless of the situation they start from and the challenges they face, does not always result in equitable outcomes. Therefore, targeted interventions, such as financial support for particular groups of students, play an important role in promoting equity in access to study at the OU.
We have numerous other support programs that are not specific to race or ethnicity, and address a variety of limitations or disadvantages that prospective students might face. For example, we offer financial support for carers, care-experienced learners, disabled veterans and refugees. We also offer the study-related costs fund, which is open to anyone on a low income. Information on all our bursaries, scholarships and assistance schemes can be found on our fees and funding page.