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Open Eye: Government will review Scots funding for the OU

The Government has agreed to review the arrangements for funding the Open University's teaching in Scotland in response to a request from the OU.

The review, announced by Helen Liddell, Minister for Education, will consider the transfer of funding for OU students in Scotland to the Scottish HE Funding Council. All OU students in the UK are currently funded by the HE Funding Council for England.

Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel welcomed the news. "The OU is committed to meeting the needs of students wherever they are in the United Kingdom and beyond. The establishment of the Scottish Parliament opens up a new chapter in Scottish education. The OU sees this review as an opportunity to reinforce its commitment to playing a full part in Scotland's future," he said.

The University has operated in Scotland for 27 years, providing open access to higher education to all. It has played a substantial role in the development of new technologies for teaching and learning and is involved in a number of collaborative ventures with other Scottish HE institutions such as a pioneering Modern Scottish History distance teaching programme with the University of Dundee.

Peter Syme, Director of the Open University in Scotland, said: "The OU is the country's leading provider of part-time higher education, with almost 13,000 students in Scotland. We have always been innovators and look forward to working with others to create new opportunities for Scottish students. The review gives us the chance to explore how this can be done most effectively."

The review will be conducted jointly by the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department, and the Department for Employment and Education.