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OU aims high for student carers

Going Higher for Student Carers: Recognition Award and trophy graphic

Extensive work to develop support for student carers at The Open University has been acknowledged with a Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award.

The award by Carers Trust Scotland celebrates best practice across Scotland’s 19 universities and it is supported by the Scottish Funding Council.

Presented at a virtual ceremony on 28 October, it recognises the OU’s work to support student carers at every stage of their higher education journey. 

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said:

“Changing demographics means that three in five of us will be a carer at some point in our lives – a figure that is predicted to increase. The Open University provides the flexibility to those who would find it impossible because of their caring responsibilities to study higher education in a traditional setting.
“We understand how important it is to provide effective support for students who have caring commitments. We are delighted to receive this award which recognises years of work by teams across the university to develop the best levels of support to our student carers.”

Two staff and student action groups were set up in 2018 to develop the work which led to the award. As a result, the OU now has a Student Carers Policy which brings together an overview of all the support available to carers for easy access by staff and students. 

A Carer’s Pack is provided to all student carers providing useful information, guidance, and signposting to resources that may be helpful. Free courses for carers thinking about studying and for managers who support carers in employment are also provided. 

More information on support to carers is available at



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