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The Open University launches scholarship fund to support carers

The Open University has this week, launched the Carers Scholarships Fund, which will provide 50 UK-based carers with a full fee-waiver scholarship of up to £18,000 to study an OU course of their choice. To ensure young carers are also encouraged to apply, 15 places have been reserved for those between the ages of 18-25.

As we mark Carers Week (10-16 June), it is reported that there are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers, providing unpaid support for a family member or friend with an illness, disability, mental health condition or addiction. The tasks that they perform can be unexpected and difficult to plan around; disrupting everyday life, from relationships and health to finances and work. The practicalities of studying can be difficult for carers of any age, who often feel guilty about going to university or find it difficult to commit to a timetable because of their other responsibilities.

“I have wanted to get a qualification for many years but due to family commitments can neither afford to, nor is it practical to, travel from home. This seems like it would be a wonderful opportunity.” – Anonymous

The OU is the ideal place for carers to study, with its open access entry policy and distance learning model that provides the most flexible way to study. Online assignment submission, discussion groups and contact with tutors ensures that those who cannot attend tutorials do not miss out. Registered carers are also able to access tailored support services including equipment and a distinct understanding of their personal needs.

Supported by the Carers Trust and Carers UK, Chair of Carers UK, Dame Philippa Russell DBE is acting as ambassador for the scheme, she commented:

“I am excited to endorse The Carers Scholarships Fund. This is a huge opportunity for carers to progress their education and their careers. It also demonstrates to carers how valued they are, how vital they are to our society and how they are part of a community, not struggling alone.”

Applications for the Carers Scholarships Fund open in March 2020. For further information, please visit or contact XXX

Find out more

About the Carers Scholarships Fund

To get involved with Carers Week

About Author

Hannah is part of the Media Relations Team at The Open University, working with the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. With experience both agency and in-house, Hannah has worked on campaigns for a number of large corporate companies and brands, including RBS, NatWest, Travelodge, Audible, AA and the Royal Academy of Dance. She has completed a Masters in Publishing Studies from Oxford Brookes, and enjoys photography, reading and going to the theatre.

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