It’s quite a thought that at least three out of every five of us in the UK will be a carer at some point in our lives. So the chances are that you may already be caring for someone yourself, or certainly know another person close to you who is either receiving or giving care.
Whilst many carers want to care, it’s the human cost of being a carer that we want to bring to your attention today. A great many carers of all ages give so much of themselves and find their everyday lives disrupted so that they often end up exhausted. Carers are often unable to commit to a regular timetable and don’t have the money to study for higher education.
Carers Scholarships - part of the Open Futures Fund - has already provided the equivalent of 132 undergraduate full fee-waiver scholarships to carers.
All carers are able to flexibly study towards a higher education qualification, some of whom are ‘young’ carers (25 and under). All carers awarded a scholarship go through a means tested process and provide proof of caring responsibilities from a GP, social worker, local authority, carer organisation or similar source.
To ensure young carers are encouraged to apply we ringfence approximately 30% for young carers (aged between 16 and 25) who often have missed out on further education due to their caring responsibilities.
To be eligible, students need to meet all the following criteria:
Full details of the scholarships and the application process can be found here.
We are now supporting 132 student on Carers Scholarships, for which we received over 700 applications. These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds and across the four nations – often having medical problems themselves.
I was very fortunate to be awarded one of the first Carers Scholarships by The Open University – I felt like I had won the lottery. However, two years into the programme I believe the award was better than winning the lottery. I has provided me with a means of studying for a degree level qualification, in a subject of my choice, with flexibility around when and how I study.Hollie, Carer and OU student
Through joining our family of supporters you can help make it possible for us to continue to offer this life changing opportunity to carers. We aim to launch applications for the next students in Spring 2024 to start study in Autumn 2024.
For more information please contact:
Sigrid Rausing Foundation
The Bronwen and Brian Mills Educational Trust
The Irving Memorial Trust
and over 6,000 alumni, friends and OU supporters including:
Robin Adcock, Lara Cournoyer, Gordon Dickinson, John Duncan, Eileen French, David Godson, Colin Hume, Paul Nicholas, Doreen and Anthony Van West, Rachael Webb
I am excited to endorse The Carers Scholarships Fund. This is a huge opportunity for carers to progress their education and their careers. It also demonstrates to carers how valued they are, how vital they are to our society and how they are part of a community, not struggling aloneDame Philippa Russell DBE
The Open University has numerous support programs addressing a wide variety of limitations or disadvantages that prospective students might face. For example, we offer financial support for carers, care-experienced learners, Black students and disabled veterans and refugees. We also offer the study-related costs fund, which is open to anyone on a low income. Information on all our bursaries, scholarships and assistance schemes can be found here: http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/fees-and-funding