Following its announcement in July of English undergraduate fee levels from September 2012, The Open University has today announced that fees for undergraduate students in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be at current levels plus inflation for 2012/13. As the arrangements for funding of higher education in the UK are different, the OU has introduced different fees across the UK.
In setting its fees, the OU has taken into account changes in government funding and has kept fees as low as possible while sustaining high quality and remaining true to its mission of being open to all.
Fees in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, arrangements for funding of higher education are broadly unchanged for 2012/13, and therefore undergraduate fee levels for OU students in these nations will not change for 2012/13, subject to inflation-linked increases. This means students will continue to pay £1,610 for a standard 120 credits of study (the equivalent of a year of full-time study). Many students study on a module basis, a standard 60 credit module will be priced from £735.
Fees for transitional students in England
As part of the changes to higher education funding for students in England, the OU has put in place transitional arrangements to help current students in England to complete their studies at a price and pace consistent with when they started. This means that fees for most current students in England will not change, subject to inflation-linked increases, and students will continue to pay £1,610 for a standard 120 credits of study (the equivalent of a year of full-time study). Many students study on a module basis, a standard 60 credit module will be priced from £735.
The OU will announce its fees for rest of Europe and postgraduate students soon.
The Open University has developed a website to communicate these changes to current and potential students, employers and partners. The Fees 2012 website can be found at: www.open.ac.uk/fees2012
Notes to editors
Changes to higher education funding in Wales
While there have been changes to the funding for the full-time higher education in Wales, funding for part-time students has not changed.
Fees for students in England
There have been significant changes to the way higher education in England is funded, and the OU will be losing around £90m of the funding it has previously received for students. Instead, undergraduate students will be able to access an increased amount of student loan and, for the first time, most part-time undergraduate students will be access to the government’s student loans meaning they will not have to pay their fees upfront. Students accessing the government’s student loans will only begin to repay the loan after four years, and only if they’re earning more than £21,000. In addition, students will be able to access the OU’s unique loan system which enables fees to be paid in instalments during each module. The OU is committed to helping its current students complete their studies at a fee consistent with when they started, and has put in place transitional arrangements for students in England as part of these changes.
The new fee levels for English students starting their studies after 1 September 2012 are: £5,000 (120 credits), £2,500 (60 credits) and £1,250 (30 credits). An honours degree totals 360 credits.
About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest higher education institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.6 million students and has more than 250,000 current students, including 20,000 overseas, learning in their own time using course materials, online activities and content, web-based forums and tutorials and through tutor groups and residential schools.
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. 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and three out of four FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions.
Regarded as Britain’s major e-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 17.7 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 40 million downloads. 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 Frozen Planet, The Bottom Line, and Bang Goes the Theory.