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OU hero Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell

The Open University has begun a ‘Heroes Campaign’ which will run over the next 4 months. The campaign has captured on film three student stories, highlighting their enormous sacrifices and great personal achievements.

The Open University is delighted to say that one of those heroes is Alan Campbell.

Alan Campbell is a rower from Northern Ireland and has competed in the last three Olympics in the men’s single sculls race.   He competed his first Olympics in Athens in 2004 and made it through to the final four years later where he came 5th.  He then went on to win bronze in 2012.  He is now looking to make his 4th and final Olympic games in 2016 with final selection in March.

In 2003, he gave up a university degree course and Army training to dedicate himself to his rowing career.  He then started an OU degree in Business Studies and is now on his last course at level 3, due to finally finish March/April.

John D’Arcy, National Director said, “I met Alan in 2012. He is an inspirational person and a great role model for people here who are thinking about going back to study. Attaining your educational dreams is possible when you study with The Open University. Three quarters of Northern Ireland students fit their studies around a job just like Alan.”

Alan is studying in order to ensure he is employable at the end of his career which he anticipates to be post-Olympics.  Specifically, he also wants to ensure that his degree is recent – many of his fellow athletes have degrees which are over 10 years old, and which they often find are less attractive to employers.

The Open University would like to wish Alan all the best in his studies and the Olympic Games. 


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