The OU will partner with further education providers to provide high-quality, higher and technical education to more local communities across England, backed by £10 million of Government funding.
Under the scheme, announced by Higher and Further Education Minister Michelle Donelan today (25 May), The Open University will work with colleges that do not currently offer higher education or training or want to expand the courses they offer.
The scheme will support colleges to put on a wider range of technical courses, supporting more people to secure jobs with higher wages and grow the economy in their area. Courses will be shorter than a traditional three-year degree, offering a mix of blended, face-to-face and on-line learning to fit around people’s lives and in their local communities.
Announcing the scheme, Minister for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan said:
“For too long, people have had to look beyond their hometown for higher education courses.
“The Government is backing The Open University with the funding and support to partner up with local colleges to offer high-quality higher education and training, targeting cold spots across the county, so everyone can upskill wherever they live.
“This marks a new era for higher education, supporting more people to gain the skills needed to get good jobs, with higher wages that will help to grow the economy and tackle the cost of living.”
Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said:
“Further education colleges are at the heart of their communities. By the Government supporting us to work with colleges to develop their higher education offer we can together make a huge contribution to levelling up our most disadvantaged areas.
“These new courses will provide advanced skills that can attract new businesses and help others grow, creating sustainable and highly skilled jobs”.