Some of the highlights and successes from the OU in Wales’ Widening Access work over the last few years:
March 2012 saw the OU in Wales scoop the main prize from the Universities Association of Lifelong Learning (UALL) with its "Access to Education for Carers Project".
In 2009 The Open University in Wales developed a partnership pilot in the Merthyr area of South Wales, with Voluntary Arts Wales and Hafal. Following an initial Open Day taster event held at the Hafal support centre, ten service users signed up for an OU Openings course. Since then several members of the group have progressed to further undergraduate study and in 2011 the "Hafal Group": Sharon Harris, Shan Davies, Christine Hodges and Susanne Mahoney, won the NIACE Dysgu Cymru Community Action Group of the Year.
Disabled student Richard Zimbler attended a special information day for disabled people held by the OU in Newtown, Powys in 2009. He is now studying on his third module and working towards his degree. In 2011 Richard won the NIACE Dysgu Cymru Adult Learner of the Year award for Distance Learning.
Tracey Hudson lives with her young son in the Ely area of Cardiff. She registered for an OU Openings course in November 2009 following a taster event she attended at her son's school. For Tracey, the initial taster workshop was "like a breath of fresh air" and inspired her to move on to distance learning with The Open University in Wales. In 2010 Tracey was winner of the NIACE Dysgu Cymru Higher Education Adult Learner award.
Katrina started on one of our Openings courses in 2008, after the OU ran an event at her local Communities First centre, she has made great progress and is now studying her 3rd module and 120 credit points into her degree.