20 Jul 2011

The Open University announces new fees of £5,000 in England

The Open University (OU) has today announced its fees for new students in England as £5,000 per full-time equivalent study (120 credits) from 1st September 2012. The amount that students pay each year will be determined by the number of credits they are studying. For a typical student studying 60 credits in a year, the fee will be £2,500 per year.

The Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, said: “As the higher education landscape continues to evolve rapidly, The Open University is today renewing its commitment to delivering high-quality, flexible and great value for money education for all. 747,965* students in England choose to study part-time – I believe this will only increase as more students choose to work while they study.”

For the first time, Government loans will be available for part-time students in England which, for many, means that they will have nothing to pay up front. Additionally, The Open University will be minimising financial barriers to study through its unique flexible payment options and financial support packages.

Most current OU students in England will be able to complete their qualifications at a price and pace consistent with their expectations when they started their course, under transitional fee arrangements.

Martin Bean continued: “Our students have rated us in the top three universities for satisfaction in the National Student Survey for the past five years and we are in a strong position to serve this and future generations of students who value the flexibility, quality and employability that an Open University education brings. We are confident that our new strategy will ensure that this great national institution will continue to stimulate economic growth and extend social mobility."

The OU is a world leader in flexible learning and has developed the unique “supported open learning” model. Students can fit studies around their other commitments, and the OU supports them through a tutor network of over 7,000 Associate Lecturers, online forums, study facilities and through contact with their peers via tutorials, online conferencing, social networks, study groups and events. It is through this proven model of education, together with The OU’s scale, reach and expertise that the University is able to continue to offer excellent value. The OU will retain its open access policy and continues to welcome all students, with a particular commitment to supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Unlike any other University, The OU successfully operates across all four nations of the UK and the higher education landscape is becoming increasingly different in each. The announcement today relates to students in England only. Based on recent indications, The OU expects fees in Scotland to be similar to those published for 2011/12. In Wales, the cost incurred by OU students is likely to be lower than in England as a result of additional support from the Welsh Government. In Northern Ireland, there is yet to be a decision on future fees.

* Student enrolments (head count) in England 2009/10, HESA

Editor's Notes
1. Fees have changed as a result of government changes to university funding.
2. Current students are able to check their eligibility for transitional funding via our Fees website:
3. More than 70% of OU students work full or part-time during their studies.

About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest higher education institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible learning. Since it was formed in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.7 million students. It has more than 264,000 current students, including 18,000 overseas, learning in their own time using world-class course materials, innovative online tools and personalised tutorials, groups and residential schools. The OU offers 409 undergraduate modules, 73 CPD courses and 162 post-grad courses.

The OU has been highly rated for teaching quality, and has been at the top of student satisfaction rankings in the National Student Survey since it was introduced in 2005. Seventy percent of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff on OU courses.

The OU supports a vibrant research portfolio and in the UK's latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), the University climbed 23 places to 43rd, securing a place in the UK's top 50 higher education institutions. 50% of The OU’s research is rated world leading or internationally excellent.

Regarded as Britain’s foremost online learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 16.7 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 36 million downloads, more than any other university in the world. The OU has a 40 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Life, Bang Goes the Theory, Made in Britain, Coast and The Money Programme.

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