(from left to right) Julie Cook from Wales TUC with Kevin Pascoe, Jos Andrews and Ruth Brooks from The Open University in Wales

‘Triple crown’ for The Open University in Wales for widening participation

The Open University in Wales has been commended for its innovative free online learning platforms, FutureLearn and OpenLearn, in the 2015 Wales Trade Union Congress (TUC) Quality Awards.

The three awards were presented to The Open University in Wales at the Wales TUC Union Learning Representatives’ Conference in Ebbw Vale on Friday 20 November 2015. Each award recognises the free online learning and flexible higher education that the OU provides and its partnership with trade unions in upskilling and reskilling the UK workforce. The awards also commend the commitment of the OU in ensuring university education is accessible to those who may not have been able to access it earlier in life.

The Open University in Wales is the first Welsh university to receive a Wales TUC Quality Award. Over 2,000 Welsh union members have registered with the OU on courses to support their careers and their own personal development since the OU – Wales TUC partnership began eight years ago.

In congratulating The Open University in Wales on this achievement, Wales TUC General Secretary, Martin Mansfield, said:

We are delighted to award the Quality Awards to The Open University in Wales in recognition of the close partnership between our organisations, which has been benefitting union members and their families since 2007.

Director of The Open University in Wales, Rob Humphreys, said:

The three Quality Awards evidence our innovative approaches to reaching into the workplace, via the Union Learning Representative network, encouraging learners to think about study options from a free online short course right though to an OU degree.

We are proud to receive these awards and to know that our partnership with Wales TUC has made a difference to learners across Wales.

The sector-leading learning in the workplace activities provided by The Open University in Wales were awarded the 2010 Times Higher Education Award for 'outstanding widening access initiative'. This new recognition will further enable the OU to promote learning in the workplace through private, public, and third sector partners across Wales.