UK Open University plans mass closure of regional call centres

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Being £2,700 - almost an order of magnitude greater than it was - for a 60 credit course (1/2 a full time degree course) has pushed the OU out of the reach of many of those who used it - the mid-career switchers, the young employee with aspirations of improvement, the retired person wanting to enhance their life and keep on learning.

I had to rush the last few years of my OU degree to meet the “old fees” rule as I have a degree, there is no availability of student loans or maintenance, and with a family and a mortgage taking on more debt was not an option.

Successive governments have continued the slow death of this wonderful institution - It’s student numbers are down 28% in 5 years, and unless it re-invents itself as a diploma mill, I can’t see a future.


Still less than a third of the ‘price’ of a year’s full-time study at a university in England, though. That’s £27,000 for a typical full-time undergraduate degree vs. £5,400 via the OU.

We could certainly argue that the £9,000pa fee should be reviewed, but given that baseline, I don’t really see why OU students should be charged even less than 20% of ‘the going rate’. Lower fees for all would be a fair objective, but not merely making OU degrees even more of a (relative!) bargain.

It’s 60% of the £9k fees, as £2.7k represents a half year full time course. The realpolitik of student fees are a moot point, the OU was a benefit to the entire nation, an environment now exists where many of those who learnt with them cannot, the OU will continue its decline and the UK is poorer for it.


Ah. Okay. I misunderstood your previous statement that it’s “1/2 a full time degree course” to mean half of the complete course, not the annual fee.

60% of the annual full-time fee sounds entirely reasonable, and I think my central point still stands (though I would say that :wink: ) - that I’d prioritise reducing fees for all students, not preferentially OU students.

If it’s remit was to provide undergraduate education to primarily post A level kids I’d agree, but the OU from its inception has been a different organisation, targeting those in mentioned above. Someone like me, who had a degree, and had a great opportunity to change career at 25, but needed a 2nd degree would be forced into massive debt, student loans and grants are not available for 2nd degrees.

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