Prominent figures across politics, entertainment, science and journalism have all voiced their support for The Open University as it petitions for additional support from the UK government to reduce the costs for part-time students.
Two recent reports from the Sutton Trust and Million Plus have evidenced the decline in part-time student numbers in England, and the UK government is now set to include part-time and distance learning in its Post-18 Education Review.
“Education benefits everyone in society”
Professor Brian Cox, who presented the OU/BBC co-production The 21st Century Race for Space, took to Twitter to advocate a review of funding:
Very strong support on my timeline for @OpenUniversity from people whose lives have been changed by the opportunity to study at any stage of their lives. Government must look at funding formula so that anyone who wants to study can do so. Education benefits everyone in society.
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) April 12, 2018
And Honorary Graduate Prue Leith also wrote on Twitter of how the OU makes study possible for so many people:
The @OpenUniversity is a remarkable British achievement making distance learning and part time study possible for thousands. Funding for part-time students must be reviewed so everyone has the chance to change their lives.
— Prue Leith (@PrueLeith) April 17, 2018
Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord David Blunkett, former Secretary of State for Education and Employment, said: “People needed — and still need — the ‘second chance’ the OU provided. And Britain needs them. They are our untapped gold.”
Former Education Secretary Justine Greening noted in the Daily Mail that ‘Britain’s biggest asset is our people’ and said: “Getting a degree from the Open University has transformed many people’s futures for the better over the years – something I understand from personal experience as the first person in my own family to be able to go to university.”