Scots urged to share stories as Open University celebrates 50th anniversary

The Open University is urging former and current students and staff in Scotland to share stories of how the institution has affected their lives as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Anyone with a story to tell is being asked to share why the Open University (OU) matters to them on social media using the hashtag #OU50Scot.

Stories and memories will be collated to form part of an exhibition that will visit various events across Scotland throughout the year.

They will also be displayed on the OU in Scotland website.

More than 200,000 Scots have studied with the OU since it received its Royal Charter in 1969.

Susan Stewart, director of the OU in Scotland, said: “The Open University is all about people, our students learning and progressing – supported by our wonderful staff – and building their confidence and changing jobs and careers, often while working and looking after children.

“Some left school without qualifications, more than a fifth have a disability, and they live in every part of Scotland.

“There’s no such thing as a typical OU student but what they all have in common is that they have very busy lives and still find the time to study and achieve their goals.

“Our students are incredible and their stories are inspiring, so we want to hear as many of those stories as possible. I really hope that people will choose to take part in this campaign.”

The OU currently has 16,500 students spread throughout Scotland.

Almost three-quarters of them are in full or part-time work, while almost a fifth do not have standard university entrance qualifications.

OU graduate Katrena Wilkie from Ellon in Aberdeenshire is urging people to share their stories.

She said: “The OU didn’t just give me knowledge, it gave me belief in myself.

“For me, my graduation photo tells a story, of my journey from a fake with no self-belief to a determined, capable, proud individual who has the right, no questions asked, to be in that photo.

“I’d love to see people post their stories about the impact the OU has had on their lives and maybe give others the self-belief to start transforming their lives with the OU, too.”

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