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Meet our students

Our students come from all walks of life. We’re not a one-size-fits-all university because we believe every learner is unique.

Our students and alumni from across Wales each have their own background, ambitions, and story to tell, and we’re here to support them along the way. Hear from some of our students and alumni below as they share their OU journey.

If you are feeling inspired by our students’ remarkable stories, take a look at our range of courses. Explore what's possible when you learn around your life with The Open University.

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Hayley from Cwmbran

After years of intense anxiety, Hayley was daunted by the thought of attending a university.

As a mother-of-two, she found she could balance her studies and family time with the OU. In 2022, she graduated with first-class honours in History – something she never thought possible.

Llŷr from Pembrokeshire

Llŷr left school in 2011 after finishing his A-levels. After working at an accountancy firm for six years, he wanted to get back into education.

By studying at the OU, he rekindled his love for languages and graduated with a degree in French and Spanish.

Michael from Rhydywaun

Welsh speaker Michael followed his passion for biology, and studied to become a science teacher with the OU.

After completing his PGCE, he was able to stay on at the high school where he was employed as a science technician, and is now working as a newly qualified teacher.

Mark from Llandysul

Mark worked in a bar alongside his OU studies to fund his degree. He’s now starting his first IT job and hopes this is the beginning of a new career.

Mark won the Sir John Daniels Award for the best overall score in Computing and IT at IT at our 2019 graduation ceremony in Cardiff.

Rachel from Ystalyfera

As a single parent, Rachel found the OU offered the flexibility she needed to study for a degree, whilst working and caring for her two sons.

With the support of her tutor, family, and employer, she qualified with a BA (Hons) in Social Work and is the first person in her family to have a degree.

Gemma from Ammanford

Gemma chose to study with the OU because of its flexibility. She can schedule her studying around days when she is feeling unwell or has hospital appointments due to long-term illness.

Her tutors have been a huge support and now she is looking into future career options.

Alireza from Newport

Alireza is studying a master's degree in Water and Civil Engineering. As a foreign student, he needed to pass an IELTS exam to get a place on the course.

He used our Everyday English free online courses to practice his speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills for the exam.   

Ashleigh from Swansea

Ashleigh went straight into work after leaving college. She decided she wanted to start a degree but didn’t want to quit her job.

The flexibility of the OU meant she could stay in work and gain valuable experience whilst studying towards her degree.

Lauren from Caernarfon

Studying with the OU gave Lauren the flexibility to help her partner on the farm and pursue her dream career as an English teacher.

The support she received from the OU allowed her to achieve her ambitions.