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Open University offers 5,000 free places on starter modules

The Open University is offering 5,000 free places to students wishing to take their first steps into higher education.

Three new Access modules in three wide ranging areas of study are available to anyone living in the UK, providing an entry route into OU study. The OU has committed £3 million to support to the initiative.

The Access 30-credit modules are designed to build learners' confidence and equip them with all the necessary study skills to progress successfully towards a qualification.  Replacing the former Openings courses, the new modules will allow students to make more informed choices about what they may go on to study. Subject areas covered include arts and languages; people, work and society; and science, technology and maths.

Martin Bean, Open University Vice-Chancellor said: "For more than 40 years The Open University has prided itself on being accessible to anyone who has a desire to learn, regardless of their background. Today, as the economy starts to recover, it is more important than ever that this commitment continues. These courses represent a significant reflection of the University's ongoing mission to remove barriers and support those who can all too often feel excluded."

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