The Open University Launches Support Package to Help Ukraine | Newry Times | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

The Open University Launches Support Package to Help Ukraine | Newry Times

The Open University (OU) has launched a raft of measures aimed at helping students and Ukrainians fleeing the war and arriving in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.


The Open University Launches Support Package to Help Ukraine - Newry Times - newry news now


These include financial support and assistance for existing OU students, a funding lifeline to potential students from Ukraine now living in the UK, as well as free online learning and partnerships with wider support networks.

A key part of the OU’s support package is extensive free online resources for Ukrainians on its popular platform OpenLearn, with a further free-to-learn cultural and language course being created aimed at those housing, caring for or working with Ukrainians.



The OU support package includes:

    – Fee waivers for existing students from Ukraine

    – Free OpenLearn resources dedicated to supporting Ukrainians now living in the Northern Ireland, including free language training and mental and wellbeing support

    – The launch, later this Summer, of a free online culture and language course to help local families hosting Ukrainians and those working with or caring for them, developed by leading academics

    – An opportunity to apply for one of 12 Sanctuary Scholarships amounting to £240,000, complete with a study starter pack and access to careers and employability services

    – Open University job roles posted on the dedicated sites for refugees and Talent Beyond Boundaries

The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarships programme is designed to help refugees, forced migrants and people seeking asylum; those fleeing armed conflict, violence, or persecution in their home nation, including those currently affected by the War in Ukraine.


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The £240,000 per year fund offers 12 scholarships each year for the next three years, awarding a full fee waiver amounting to £20,000 per student.

A further 50 fully funded places will be offered on OU Access Modules starting in Autumn 2022 with the aim of providing qualifying applicants with the skills and confidence to progress into Higher Education.

People arriving in the UK seeking refuge because of threats to their lives face many challenges, but they also have a chance to build a new life and a hopeful future for their families, often through access to higher education and/or meaningful employment.

Michael Bower, Assistant Director for Student Success for The Open University in Ireland says, “This scholarship fund will ensure that those fleeing conflict or persecution can invest in their future through the OU and realise their educational ambition despite the horrific circumstances through which they arrived here.

“The Open University is here to support those who are seeking refuge in Northern Ireland and to also support host families with new educational resources to help them learn the Ukrainian language and gain an understanding of Ukrainian history and culture.”



Rasha Mourd, 33, is a former refugee from Syria, currently studying with OU in Northern Ireland for a BSc (Hons) in IT and Computing.

She is now settled in Northern Ireland.

She says, “I decided to complete my study at The Open University as it is an amazing opportunity to study in this country and because I knew if I study at the university that will reflect positively not only on me but on my family and the whole community also.

“Completing study was my dream for a long time but difficult circumstances obstructed me to do that.

“These scholarships are a really great opportunity to give people a chance to build a better future,” she adds.

The Open Futures Sanctuary Scholarships Programme is part of a series of student support awards, worth more than £2.6 million, available to apply for through The Open University.




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Posted by on May 24 2022. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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