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Partnership opens up new opportunities for adult learners

Susan Stewart and Roddy Henry signing the Memorandum of Understanding

Adult learners in Midlothian will benefit from new study opportunities thanks to a partnership between The Open University (OU) in Scotland and Newbattle Abbey College.

The OU in Scotland and Newbattle Abbey College today (Tuesday 30 August) signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out a range of collaborative activities which will open up more curriculum choice and better study progression for adult learners.

Shared goals of the partnership include exploring ways to widen access to higher education, collaborating on module delivery and contributing to the Scottish Government’s Adult Learning Strategy. A review of the OU’s extensive accessible adult and community learning resources on OpenLearn will identify ways to enhance the Newbattle Abbey College curriculum and new credit transfer arrangements will be established so students from Newbattle can transfer to OU programmes.

The signing of the agreement means that the OU now has collaborative agreements with 16 Scottish colleges. These partnerships promote progression routes and credit transfer opportunities for students who wish to go on to university-level study with the OU after achieving a qualification at college, providing the opportunity to build on previous study and achieve a degree more quickly.

The agreement also adds to Newbattle Abbey College’s existing formal partnerships with universities, which include Queen Margaret University and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Argyll College. These collaborations provide access to learning and qualifications at the College’s historic campus in Midlothian and open-up pathways to Higher Education for all.

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

“Today’s launch of the Memorandum of Understanding with Newbattle Abbey College sets out ways in which we will work together to reach more people and offer them life-changing learning opportunities.

“Across both institutions, we share a commitment to provide education to people in ways that fit with their lives, and that is flexible and accessible. Together we can provide stronger pathways to people so they can access learning at every stage of their lives, both to help achieve formal qualifications and to contribute to knowledge and wellbeing.”

Roddy Henry, Principal of Newbattle Abbey College, said:

“As part of our ongoing commitment to extending and connecting adult learning opportunities, we are delighted to be entering into this Memorandum of Understanding with the Open University. Our organisations share a commitment to changing lives through widening access to learning and this Memorandum will ensure that we work together to achieve that aim.

"Partnership working and collaboration are key to the work that Newbattle does, unlocking opportunities to help people take their next steps in life. We already work closely with a number of Scottish universities and this agreement will mean that our students will benefit from the wealth of opportunities and resources that the OU has to offer.”

Visit https://www.open.ac.uk/scotland/partnerships/colleges to find out more about our College Partnerships.

Photo by Neil Hanna

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