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The Lord Mayor of Belfast visits The Open University

The Open University (the OU) has welcomed a visit from the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Kate Nicholl, locally to their Belfast Office.


Speaking on the visit, John D’Arcy, Director of The Open University in Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Kate Nicholl to meet with our committed staff and students. Kate has been a wonderful ambassador for Belfast since taking up the post."

“We took the opportunity to discuss the success of our Community Partnership Programme which is currently helping a number of local communities in Belfast, giving people the opportunity to access higher education in their local community setting.  Our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas means we want to bring education to people all across Belfast and equip them to change their lives and develop opportunities for themselves through learning."



The Lord Mayor met with local student, Michelle Laverty, who graduated with an undergraduate degree in Health and Social Care.  Michelle spoke about her life changing experience studying with the OU.  Commenting on the visit Michelle said;

“As a recent Open University graduate I had the absolute honour of meeting the Lord Mayor of Belfast, with my daughter Poppy to share my personal journey of Open University study. A learning experience I shall never forget and will be looking forward to developing in the near future.” 

“It is very empowering to feel that you belong, and you are equal.  My OU degree has supported me in my personal journey of becoming a more fully rounded person. From a self-imposter four years ago, lifting the phone and requesting a prospectus, to now a more confident and self-aware person, I can whole-heartedly say, I did it! I will never forget my OU experience and I will always be beholden for the career opportunities and personal quietude, this has afforded me. Thank you.”


The Open University is committed to developing its work both within Belfast and across Northern Ireland.  The community partnerships programme is one way in which it is reaching out to those who would not normally consider higher education.  For more information on how your local community organisation can get involved, visit:

A picture of Christine Murphy who has fair curly hair and is smiling and wearing a white jumper

For media enquiries please contact:

Christine Murphy, Communications Manager

Tel 028 9053 6219