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Meet our students and alumni

The Open University in Scotland provides supported open learning to over 21,000 students across the country. Our flexible programmes and wide range of qualifications enable learners to choose a study route that best suits them. Meet some of our students and alumni below.

Steven Sutherland

Steven, Kilbarchan

Steven Sutherland from Kilbarchan near Glasgow is on a mission to create positive change for the disabled community. He’s determined to use his qualification to progress in his career – with ambitions to one day become Scotland’s First Minister.

Carly McCluskey

Carly, Glasgow

Carly McCluskey from Glasgow has launched a plant-based business to help make breakfast more environmentally friendly. She had the idea for a ‘vegan egg’ substitute during the pandemic and quickly enrolled to study Business Management with The OU to make her side hustle a reality.

OU student Elyse Hocking

Elyse, Glenrothes

Business Management degree student Elyse is the first in her family to study university courses. Funding has been available and support offered to the mum-of-three, who is care experienced and manages health conditions. Elyse volunteered as a Students Association representative. 

OU nursing student Abdullah

Abdullah, Edinburgh

Adult Nursing degree student Abdullah was inspired to start his studies by his father’s healthcare sector career. A clinical support worker with a young family, he welcomes being able to study while earning an income. Abdullah reflects that a nursing career lasts a lifetime.

Maths teacher Irina standing outside her secondary school

Irina, Perth

A single OU module gave Irina the extra maths credits she needed to secure her spot on a postgraduate teacher training course, paving the way to her new career as a secondary school maths teacher. Irina upskilled with the OU in one year, and her studies were fully funded. 

OU graduate Carla standing on a bridge, with a crane in the background

Carla, Clydebank

Carla was kicked out of home aged 14 and never imagined that university would ever happen for her, after a difficult start in life. Achieving an OU honours degree, Carla's continuing with OU postgraduate studies in Global Development to support an ambition to teach refugees.

Tommy Breslin

Tommy, Glasgow

During the COVID pandemic Tommy, a Senior Development Officer for Scottish Union Learning within the Scottish Trades Union Congress, has done a number of OU Online Teaching microcredentials. Tommy has
supported unions transition their programmes to online. 

OU students Sarah and Karine

Sarah and Karine, Edinburgh

For married couple Sarah and Karine, OU studies have been invaluable in giving them both a focus while coping with the challenges of Karine’s primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). They qualify for grant funding, for their flexible, accessible and supported degrees. 

OU graduate Emma, standing with the Kelpies in the background

Emma, Falkirk

Emma’s Bachelor of Science Open Degree with Honours has been an integral step to her pursuing her dream job. Credits gained from college shortened her fully-funded OU studies, which Emma balanced with looking after her family and being a full-time carer to her autistic son.

OU graduate Joe Shaughnessy outside the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on graduation day

Joe Shaughnessy

Scottish Premiership football club captain Joe Shaughnessy successfully netted a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Mathematics degree – combining his sporting career with flexible Open University studies.