The Open University (OU), operating across all four nations, provides educational opportunities to anyone, regardless of their age or background. To study with the OU, students need nothing more than the ambition and determination to achieve a higher education qualification.
Many of the students would not be able to study full-time or face-to-face as this would not fit with the demands and challenges of their lives while some would not meet the entry criteria of selective universities. This happens in a variety of contexts, for example being in prison or working in the armed forces.
Through education, OU students from disadvantaged backgrounds have the opportunity to progress in the workplace and achieve their career goals, or gain the education they weren’t able to pursue earlier in life.