Female student with study book

Helping offenders prepare for life after prison

Young man with book looking out of window
Education can help offenders turn their lives around for when they leave prison

Education is a powerful way to turn your life around. For prisoners, learning is often their best hope of rehabilitation. It’s proven to lower reoffending rates, as prisoners start to see a life beyond crime and gain the skills for real, purposeful work. However, there are two big obstacles – the difficulty of securing funding and the physical impossibility of walking into a traditional classroom. 

The Open University is one of the few major universities that prisoners can study with, inside their cell. Through our courses, offenders take their first steps to re-entering society and living better lives.

With your support we can do far more, by providing scholarships for prisoners to help them become assets to their communities. We’ll also fund much-needed resources, like IT and learning mentors. Currently only 1 in 1,000 prisoners have the means to complete a level 3 course (equivalent to A-level study). When we give them support, their lives – and the lives of those around them – can change direction for good.

Changing lives through education and more

Our research and education projects bring immeasurable benefits to so many lives, and we rely on the generosity of our donors for all of them. We’re already making a difference worldwide – but we have the potential to do even more. Each of our projects falls into one of four strands; opening up minds, opportunities, thinking and lives. 

Opportunities
Harnessing the full potential of our disabled veterans
Five members of the RAF
146
Lives
Join a movement of millions
Females studying at desk
126
Thinking
Sniffing out cancer
Cancer detection dog with white stripe on face looking into camera
96
Minds
Leading a new learning revolution
Looking at the OpenLearn website on a tablet
98
Opportunities
Scholarships that defy expectations
Open University graduate celebrating her achievement with arms in the air
90
Thinking
A helping paw
Dog in training session
84
Thinking
Helping stroke survivors walk tall
Prototype haptic bracelet
94
Lives
Bringing lessons to life across India
Pupils in classroom in India
89
Opportunities
Rewriting the future, blink by blink
Open University graduate with a disability receiving his degree
85
Minds
Sharing 50 years of education
Professor Wilson tutoring with The Open University
91
Lives
Sharing life-saving skills in developing countries
Smiling mother carrying baby in Africa
92
Lives
Creating an education revolution
Felicia, a teacher who uses the TESSA programme, with her pupils in Ghana
86
Opportunities
Using more minds to make discoveries in STEM
Female science researcher with lab equipment at The Open University
93
Minds
Building a fairer justice system
Model of human brain
88
Opportunities
Helping offenders prepare for life after prison
Female student with study book
87
Thinking
Helping people with dementia stay independent
Retail worker advising older customer
97
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