Open University regional centre closures

Almost 500 jobs could disappear from seven Open University centres in England under controversial plans described as ‘catastrophic’ by the unions which represent staff at the institution.

Thousands of current and potential students could be affected by the move, which would see the removal of vital services, such as careers counselling, study advice and support for disabled students.

The seven affected centres, with 494 staff are:
Birmingham
Bristol
Cambridge
Gateshead
Leeds
London
Oxford


Further information: Open University UCU  |  Open University Unison


Please sign the petition opposing the closures below, and then encourage your friends, family, colleagues and all your social media contacts to join you in doing so

We, the undersigned, oppose the decision to close Open University regional centres in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford. Closing these centres would threaten the education and guidance available to OU students and could mean the loss of hundreds of jobs. The Open University is respected the world over for bringing education of the highest quality to a wide range of people. At the centre of the mission are the regional centres and the dedicated staff who provide essential support.

Oppose the OU closures

[signature]

6,970 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   


Signed:
6,970 Lucy HutchingsOpen University student/ BedfordshireIt would be a great loss . We need these centres to stay open .
6,969 Deborah Goodliffe OU student I'm have been an OU student for 12 on and off and the services and courses are suffering due to funding cuts and shortages. I have noticed a decline in the quality of the OU experience over the past 3 years!!!!
6,968 Helen SimpsonStamfordI need the help of the Cambridge centre.....at present I have to travel 108 mile and 68 mile round trips to get to my study days....closing yet another centre is making it very difficult for OU students living in my area to attend the approbate classes.
6,967 Paul CreanSalfordThe OU gave me the confidence to be where I am today. God knows where I would have ended up without them.
6,966 Charles KentNorth Lincolnshire
6,965 Emma EvansSwansea UniversityOU provides an opportunity for everyone and anyone to gain further education and skills to enhance themselves and their lives. It is especially important for people who work and are unable to attend college / university during the day. This is even more compounded with the cut backs to FE and the evening classes that they no longer provide.
6,964 Alison CookBexhill-on-SeaI moved from Harrogate to Bexhill five years ago. The nearest OU to me was Leeds, which I visited frequently for information on future courses. Now I'm visiting Camden Town, also as an OU Invigilator I have occasion to visit. As an OU student since 1995 I've have always recognised regional support, now I find that I shan't have any support. Wake up OU, leave us our regions, we pay you thousands.
6,963 David BrownRetired OU tutor, IpswichI was a tutor in languages for many years. Although a keen computer user, I think the pushing of languages online and removal of 'live' tutorials was very damaging. I feel that ALL students need to have some personal contact with both their tutors and fellow students. Walton Hall management has little understanding of the importance of the regional centres in this regard.
6,962 Gus CoopsI have been a student with the OU in the past and my regional centre (Birmingham) was excellent, they provide much needed support, i also had a disability which affected how i studied, they helped me a lot. Other students with disabilities will need access to their local regional centres therefore i feel it is important that the regional centres remain open.
6,961 Sari EastonInstitute of Education
6,960 Roxanne PhillipsDPTThe Bristol centre is our regional centre- the south west. they provide so much support to students in a deprived and large area.
6,959 rachel velodyuniversity of the arts london
6,958 Veronika Ryannorth londonI did my undergraduate degree at the OU and regularly went to the OU Centre in Hawley Crescent London.. I am considering doing further studies and the closure of the centre would certainly affect me. I also think it is crucial for OU students to have a place to go to if they wanted to contact the OU, for tutorials or to read/study.
6,957 peter mathewteacher,IndiaCan we replace education with anything. Even one student gained justifies the existence of these centers. Above all funding can be a problem. Is there a lock without a key? I quote an old Christian organisation "You Search You Find" We get easily tired of searching and settle for the inferior option and just carry on instead of struggling and evolve, the Dharma (ultimate aim) of life.
6,956 Greg BaileyUniversity of BristolThe OU is a unique, world class institution that justifies full support and proper funding. Rolling back decades of opportunity and achievement for those who missed out on higher education is shortsighted and wrong.
6,955 Gavin Macmillan
6,954 James MenziesBirmingham
6,953 Jean SoutheyNHS research and developmentI have been in education for over 20 years and see the critical role of OU for individuals to develop skills and competencies to contribute to society where other routes to higher education have not be possible or appropriate, such as for older students and women returning to education alongside parenthood. The OU supports lifelong learning and enriches society by increasing diversity in jobs.
6,952 Helen SharpeSouth West regionAs a former student and on behalf of my students who have raised concern about the lack of a regional centre for them to access, I wish to express my disagreement with the closures.
6,951 Peter MawsonI have studied with the O.U. I cannot see how proper student support will be provided without the regional centres.
6,950 ESra OzyurekLondon School of Economics/London
6,949 Jill HarrisonBristol University
6,948 John WestonRetired In support of keeping a local presence for the OU across England.
6,947 Jean WestonOpen University I think that small local centres work better than large centralised centres. The job losses are irrelevant and not a good issue to focus on because I do not think an organisation can be expected to employ people purely in order to provide them with a job. My argument rests simply on my belief that the existing system is, in my view, a better model.
6,946 Pamela WalkerRetiredWe need these centres as face to face tuition helps students to stay focused and to meet other students which is a help in itself.Knowledge is what made our country great loosing it is a backward step
6,945 Stella PyeUniversity of BoltonI was a mature student with the O.U., gaining my first degree (Hons. Lit.) in 2008. As I said in a letter to my foundation level tutor recently, without his support, I would have been unlikely yo have left the launch pad. I read that the average age of students is falling, but nonetheless, students learning new academic disciplines need face-to-face interaction with their A.L.'s and their fellow students alike. The friends I made at the O.U. are good friends still, and it would be sad if that sense of 'belonging' were lost. Dr. Stella Pye Visiting Academic Faculty of Arts UoB
6,944 Kostas KonstantinidisImperial College London
6,943 David DodwellWEST YORKSHIREThe OU is a flagship organisation. What sets it apart from other on-line learning institutions is the quality of regional face-face support that it offers to learners. Lose that and you will lose students.
6,942 Sarah Layzell
6,941 Paul Walker-SmithRetired LecturerThis is short-sighted and will not improve provision for students. It is also needlessly discarding the expertise, experience and dedication of the staff facing the end of their jobs. It is management vandalism
6,940 Camille RoseThis is a valuable part of the further education that also provide global support and its closure will disadvantage many who are trying to improve their education while working while meeting their family obligations.
6,939 Alan ShentonThe Open University
6,938 J CairnsNHSI support those based at the regional centres who are at risk of losing their jobs.
6,937 Emma HarrisNHS
6,936 Barry AthaRamsdens BradfordThis is a valuable part of the further education within the UK and I support it whole heartedly
6,935 Ibolya Horvathne OrbanLive.in.carerOpen Universty is about to change my life and I am sure all students think the same. Regional centres are an important link with the process of learning itself, a place where students from an area can meet,a place where tutorial can take plase.The less such places, the more isolated will be the student.
6,934 Hannah KapeThe Open University has changed my life and continues to do so. These centres are an essential part of the learning and is vital in helping students. My experience of the staff at the OU has been good and they are invaluable. Closures of these centres would result in loss of learning as well as jobs.
6,933 stephen whitternBristolCurious decision. What affect will there be for disabled students.
6,932 Brenda KenneyOU CambridgeI work in one of the regional centres and find they are an essential resource, providing support and information both for students and staff. I can't even begin to imagine how the OU will function and continue to ensure their staff and students are adequately supported without them.
6,931 Mandy Bentleyprivate home London E18I have completed a BA, an MA and a PhD with the OU, and the London Regional Centre has been a vital resource and point of contact. What will students local to London do in the future without it, and why should they be so disadvantaged? It's a bad decision on the part of the OU.
6,930 Ross Higman
6,929 Mark KenrickBarcelonaI am signing as I would like others to benefit from same wonderful learning experience as I did when I completed my degree with the OU. I was overwhelmed with the student and learning centred approach I found at the OU and encountering it's educational values really breathed new life into me, Thank you and the best of luck in this important campaign!
6,928 Denis WattersonRetiredto broaden the base of those receiving good quality higher education.
6,927 Jill WillderWinchesterThe OU is a cherished organization that makes life-long learning a reality for everyone who needs it or seeks it out.
6,926 Stephen O'BrienOpen University (Belgium)The regional centres are a great support especially with the simple questions but hard to find in the OU systems, documents etc.
6,925 Lindsey Crosbie
6,924 Iain Crosbie
6,923 Neil CrosbieNorthumberlandStudents and staff need to be able to relate to human beings to get support and provide input. Centralising this and/or seeking to do it online, instead of utilising Regional Centres may be cheaper but it is extremely doubtful that it will be as effective.
6,922 Ken AustinRetired [Formerly NWRC]Having worked for several years as a P/T OU tutor I recognise the hard work and effort invested by students, tutors and staff at all levels of the OU organisation. The benefit for students was clear, giving many a viable alternative to full-time HE, a new opportunity or continuing means of personal and professional development. The proposed changes will have a significant detrimental effect.
6,921 Andrew CrosbieMortal Fools, Northumberland
6,920 Kiz CrosbieNorthumberland
6,919 Chris CrosbieOUI believe that the Regional Centres provide a vital locally based source of support for both students and staff.
6,918 Peter WalkerI believe this country of ours should be encouraging it's citizens to better themselves as this goes along way to making our country great knowledge is a corner stone and as much help as possible is required for people to achieve. Closing these Open University regional centers is a backward step and should be apposed by all
6,917 Judith TimmisGloucester
6,916 Paula NunnickOpen University Wales disabled studentI have loved studying with the OU, it has given me a chance to expand my knowledge and learning potential. The staff have been very supportive which I have always appreciated. Being able to have face to face lectures means you can connect with others in the same position as yourself whilst studying - great for social & emotional wellbeing. I have always promoted the OU & will continue to do so.
6,915 Bill JonesCardiff University
6,914 Alison NeaveLeedsPeople need human beings to talk to and support them - not just have it all on-line
6,913 V DavidgeAs a former employee of the OU, I am sure that the excellent support and service provided by the regional centres will have a very negative impact on the student experience and ultimately the OU itself.
6,912 C TankLeedsThe OU is a necessary educational establishment for the people to combine work/home responsibilities around their individual studies not to mention affordable fees. Do not close the Leeds centre - please rethink your decision!
6,911 Helen Leitch
6,910 Mark TankWest Yorkshire
6,909 Janet CooperI used to work in the Leeds regional office, I have seen the excellent service and support given to students which could not be given if the regional offices were shut. Students deserve to be supported when studying
6,908 Auriol KENYONhome basedI have been a student with the Open University for several years. I would be very disadvantaged by the closure of Gateshead Centre as I have a disability and need support with learning.
6,907 Joan BurnipRetiredOU is such an important part of further education, and the regional offices give such good support to students
6,906 Niko Tsitonakis
6,905 Hazel DaviesCambridge University
6,904 Diana CarrollLeeds Ou It will affect my work for the Ou and it is important for student support
6,903 Elizabeth GaitandjisWest YorkshireRegional Centres are crucial to the mandate and the efficiency of the OU without them you undermine the whole point of the OU. It seems like an attempt by this blinkered Tory Government to destroy yet another vital and important Brotish Institution in its relentless quest to destroy the 'State'. We are rapidly becoming a 'Failed State'
6,902 Lynn CookPainting Studio and Research BaseOU based at Leeds started by higher level learning - led to a PhD. Without a Leeds starting place I couldn't have achieved my higher level academic career
6,901 Patricia GoreLeedsThe OU remains the best gateway for mature students to gain qualifications. It has been and remains an inspiration .
6,900 janet paskeSheffieldWe need to continue providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn after the age of 18, when working, especially at degree level. Closing 7 sites of the OU is totally counter to a civilised society and they will be difficult to reinstate.
6,899 Gregory JessopIlkleyClosing these OU centres would threaten the education and guidance available to OU students and could mean the loss of hundreds of jobs.
6,898 Christine CubittWest YorkshireI studied with the OU as an undergraduate, worked with the OU as an AL, and worked in the Leeds regional office as a researcher. I strongly oppose the suggested closures. Regional offices make the university 'real'. This is an essential point for distance learners and for ALs working 'disconnected' from a central campus.
6,897 David PiercyRetiredOU offered myself and I suspect many others of my generation the opportunity to undertake higher education whilst still working. The Regional Office (Leeds) provided a useful resource both material and human in the guidance process. This local provision was / is vital, however in time of cut backs not seen as essential. The OU will be much the poorer with the loss of this resource.
6,896 Richard DugdaleBB7 2HPEducation is the bedrock of society. Don't loose it.
6,895 William HoneywellClitheroeI graduated from the OU in 2005 and could not have earned a degree without it. Many 000s of people are in the same situation. The OU should be fed, not starved, of resources.
6,894 Mark MarshSheffieldThe open university is an extremely valuable resource for our country and these closures would reduce it's efficacy and initiate a downward spiral which I fear may mean the eventual end of the OU.
6,893 Nadezhda BonelliOU Leeds
6,892 Paul JeffcuttBelfastThese closures would be disasterous. My first teaching post was with the OU and I relied on the regional centre completely.
6,891 Jane PinnerI think the OU should consider its regional centres as fundamental to the delivery of its core values. It needs to be seen as the 'local' option, have centres open to all and not to retract to a large central base.
6,890 Marc TeasdaleNewcastle
6,889 Stuart ThompsonRetiredThis stupid proposal removes one of the primary reasons to adopt an OU course, local facilities enabling courses to be undertaken with support. Reliance on Internet based communications solely will open the system to malware.
6,888 Paul DixonIrelandThe planned closure of these regional centres is primarily a money-saving exercise, but a short-sighted one, which will have a serious effect on the service the Open University provides. Management's rather cynical approach to the loss of jobs has already had a significant effect on the morale of remaining staff, including ALs, which cannot be a good thing for the University as a whole.
6,887 Sandra EllesleyFormer OU tutor -- O6
6,886 Bernard HoranUniversity of Essex
6,885 John BowlingOU RO1 but now retired.1. The loss of over 500 jobs whether at local level or nation wide should not be tolerated because people are unlikely to find a replacement and families have daily needs. 2. There is a need that the OU continues to fulfil. A good education is the right of everybody and if , for whatever reason, ones educational needs have not been adequately fulfilled in the past then the OU can provide it.
6,884 Lisa Bestford. Tees Valley. As a past OU Student we cannot loose this inportant company. The staff and support you receive is fantastic.
6,883 barbra wallaceOU R04concerned about the impact of regional centre closures
6,882 Geoff TaylorYarnton, Kidlington
6,881 Sheda ShedajonLondonSupporting those teachers who are at risk of losing their jobs.
6,880 Geoff WoolleyNorthbrook College, Sussex
6,879 Julie GoodhewR03The regional centres provide cohesion within the already remote structure of the Open University. Without these centres - hives of excellent support and expertise - the OU will be a more faceless organisation (to both staff and students). I think the regional 'face' and the cohesion provided by these centres drive the quality of the student experience and teaching.
6,878 Barney SavageOU
6,877 Julian ZieglerOU Milton KeynesIf many people losing their jobs was not sufficient reson for opposing the closure then surely the unique selling point of the OU as an online education provider in having regional centres where face to face help can be given rather than just online or focused on one university campus should be.
6,876 Graham BAINESRetiredSetting up the Open University was the finest achievement of Harold Wilson's Labour Government. It has played a unique role in university education and it is inconceivable that a cabinet in which so many of its members have enjoyed the privilege of private education should allow this public institution to wither away.
6,875 Chris McHughLabour Councillor - Gateshead CouncilThe potential closure of regional centres of the Open University threatens the ability to provide quality education and guidance to OU students. This is yet another step in reducing the quality of education on and an attack on workers and students in the education sector. OU regional centres must be saved.
6,874 Jan OsborneMilton KeynesI am concerned that by closing the regional offices students will not receive the support they require, particularly students with additional requirements, offender learners and rural students. There has been little real justification as to why this decision has been made, rather than other decisions regarding buildings owned that could be sold or rented commercially.
6,873 Suzanne ChevalThe Open UniversityPersonally I feel that this whole process has been rushed and concerns from colleagues have not been taking into consideration. I believe that taking away the regional offices will not provide a better service to students and I haven't read anything that would make me feel differently.
6,872 Susan North-BatesSheffield Hallam UniversityAs a former OU Tutor-Counsellor in Yorkshire Region 07 I appreciate the importance of the regional centres for both the students and the staff in ensuring a robust educational experience. Closing the regional centres will be detrimental to everyone (except the OU accountants?).
6,871 Tom DavieJob losses inc people I know and respect and a a decimation of a unique and valuable education and study method for many many people. It isn't right to sutreamline and close these centres.
6,870 Andrew Whittaker LSBU I am a former OU student and regional centres are the lifeblood of student support.
6,869 David Humen/aThe OU represents an outstanding achievement in widening access to education in the UK. It should be protected and nurtured. I am distraught that these proposed changes threaten its scope and reach, and adversely affects the loyal and committed people who work for the OU.
6,868 Ken WilliamsSheffield College/hallam UniversitySimilar thing happening/to come in Further Education. Yet another attack on Education in our country.
6,867 Ana Ibanez MorenpUNEDBecause of the need to support the workers' rights and fight for adequate education for all
6,866 Robin RiceUniversity of Edinburgh
6,865 NOA TALAVANUNED, Facultad de Filología, SpainWe must protect quality education at all costs and the Open University is a good example of this.
6,864 Sue EastonUniversity of SheffieldTo support Open University colleagues. I came to university via a non-traditional, late FE route.
6,863 Lourdes PomposoUNED.Madrid
6,862 Michael ElliotUniversity of Cambridge
6,861 María Jordano de la TorreUNED, Madrid (Spain)I know some of them and they are doing a great job. They do not deserve this.
6,860 Randa AlamiSOAS
6,859 Christian KlesseMMU
6,858 Aislinn McCarryBelfast
6,857 Simon ParsonsAvon
6,856 neul kerriganbolton collegeAny cuts to education is immoral
6,855 Douglas McCarrickCoventry UniversityIt is appalling that the OPEN university should be withdrawing its regional presence - and betraying the regional office staff who have been the core of the organisation. This most recent example of the increasing trend of the OU towards managerialism must be opposed.
6,854 heather` donaldsonsouth downs college hantsGood education is the foundation of our next generation and is crucial for a positive future for British people.
6,853 Elena Martín-MonjeUniversidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, SpainI work at the Distance Education University in Spain and believe that regional centres are a real asset in these institutions. I completely oppose the decision to close regional centres in the UK.
6,852 Valerie Hannagan LewisCardiff University
6,851 Steven JackUniversity of GlasgowAs someone who benefited from support at my regional support centres I feel that closing these is detrimental to students. These centres provide a social connection for students that have no other physical contact with fellow students and with the institution as a whole
6,850 Musharrat Ahmed-LanderyouLSBU, LondonCost effectiveness is about benefits of service to the customers, value for money. People , employees make for the quality of a service and a successful organisation. Just closing regional offices without explicit consideration of this seems to be detrimental and opposite to efficiency and quality improvement.
6,849 Paul LogueOpen University Northern Ireland
6,848 Deirdre MartinLondonI signing to support this UCU action against closure of 7 regional centres of the OU. I am an academic and I have been a student of the OU and understand the importance of regional centres for students, their study and local support.
6,847 Liz MiddletonOpen University WalesThis decision is not within the best interests of staff or students and I cannot understand the rationale. All students I have spoken to who have found best support through regional offices and have seen Bristol OU offices as a landmark in terms of OU presence in the area cannot believe decisions that have been made-would be a great tragedy alongside the waste of so much local knowledge and talent
6,846 Craig GellingCity of Liveprool CollegeAs an OU Graduate these centres provide a vital service for students and should not be dismissed in order to increase profits.
6,845 Dionysis SeretisUniversity of SouthamptonI am currently studying towards a PhD in Southampton; this would not have been possible without excellent educational and administrative support from the OU, where I obtained my first degree, and whose staff (and activities) have sadly been constantly decreasing in number
6,844 David Bradley-WilliamsUniversity of Central LancashireThe closure of the Open University will be disasterous for an important bastion of Higher Education in the UK
6,843 Simon CoopeyPlaid Cymru, Newport West
6,842 Deborah CherryUniversity of the Arts LondonThe OU delivers world class education to people who study at home for many different reasons, facilitating career change, reskilling,updating to meet changing work patterns in global economies, & people who can't study at a campus based university. OU teachers are first class educators and researchers. The centres offer key links and contact points between students and teachers.
6,841 Alexandra KokoliMiddlesex University
6,840 Andrea McCartneyIrelandI believe retaining the local centres will ultimately help retain students and encourage new ones to sign up
6,839 mary foxself employed music and dance practitioner I work in schools and value the work of the Open University option which facilitates so many people.
6,838 Hannah ParishThe Open University
6,837 Michelle AblinLecturer and ex-OU degree student
6,836 Susan KotschiThe Open University in the South
6,835 James DunkleyLondonMessage of support
6,834 Yvonne WilsonWesthoughton BoltonI am an adult distance learner with dyslexia therefore having a specialist support whome can help and guide me is essential part of my studies !
6,833 Bradley ChickBN9 9SQHaving worked as a distance learning tutor for the last 10 years before retiring I am firmly of the opinion that the reduction in facilities to support students who are studying through distance learning will have a detrimental effect on student morale and results and will increase the drop out rate.
6,832 Colin BirdLondonI support this petition as I feel the Open University provides a unique and irreplaceable service.
6,831 Carole ChickUniversity of Brighton
6,830 Martin LoftusUniversity of Brighton
6,829 Wan Ching YeeBristol
6,828 April CaplinOU BristolI live in the middle of no where, in the Wiltshire countryside. Working on minimum wage I need the Bristol services to ensure I can get to my tutorials and for support. This restriction will force me to miss out on necessary services because I can barely afford to travel to Cardiff!!
6,827 CRISTINA VITISELF-EMPLOYED TRANSLATOR UK
6,826 Leanne BuntingOUI feel this will have a detrimental effect on all of those employed, and educated, by the Open University. The face to face support I so heavily need in my studies faces slowly being phased out and replaced by an impersonal alternative. I also sign this in support of my Tutor, who does a fantastic job!
6,825 Paul TurnbullCambridge
6,824 Chipundu J Lamba
6,823 Les PriceLeicester
6,822 Ian BrowneSuffolk New CollegeWe need a good further and higher education sector not redundancies.
6,821 Alyson SladeOxford
6,820 Anne GrahamSuffolk New College
6,819 Sylvia SmithLondonI benefitted from ou courses and believe it is a bad time to cut this kind of educational input. Many people cannot afford full time uni and the ou is a reliable alternative.
6,818 Janice AllenWF1 2LSPeople need the guidance and support of the regional centres - I was a student many years ago and the regional centres are a great help.
6,817 Sarah WellsCambridgeBecause I have a degree with the OU
6,816 Nicola ChalkCuddington primary/O.U studentI have received valuable support and face to face interaction at O.U tutorials and have struggled with online ones during which everyone types at once and you lose the thread. Also, student fees are in line with more traditional universities, so resources should be also. I cannot see how these closures cannot affect standards hugely and feel for the people who are at risk of losing their jobs!
6,815 Kenny Frydeformer teacher, now too ill to workIt is a disgrace that student services carefully built over time are being threatened in this way. The strikers will win because they are in the right. All power to them.
6,814 Matt WellsCB227TW I wish you well in your struggle to save jobs and secure the vital service that OU provides for future generations. Stand firm. United you will win.
6,813 Andrew Sclater
6,812 Martin BoothCambs
6,811 Kate HarrisonOpen University
6,810 Josie MalinowskiGreater London
6,809 Torsten AndersUniversity of Bedfordshire
6,808 Caroline EvansSheffieldThe Open University provides a valuable, and sometimes the most practical route to education/continuing education for people of all ages and educational backgrounds. Key to this is the staff who support students by providing education and guidance at a local level.
6,807 Catherine NashThe open university does such a good job and all the tutors work really hard. It has enabled me to do a degree and i would highly recommend them to anyone.
6,806 Heather WordenNHSEducation is pretty much the most important thing and the OU is flexible and good, it should not be reduced or made more difficult
6,805 Nita SangheraWest MidlandsWe need to show solidarity for our colleagues.
6,804 Janyce DaviesOU studentThe OU has inspired me to write, to learn and to grow.
6,803 Helen MeehanOU ALAs both an AL and student of the OU BA Hons (Open) 1989 I have valued the support of the people that I have been able to have a meaningful human exchange with. The OU has become faceless enough with the loss of face-to-face tuition without the centralisation of support services. I feel that the OU are losing something that gives it a more local feel, even though its education delivery is remote.
6,802 tim reynolds
6,801 Peter McLoughlinLondonEducation is an investment in our economy and society.
6,800 Steve BoycePeoplePlus prison branchThe ou is so important to our prison learners and we are already seeing the effects of these rationalisations in worsening the service for some of the most vulnerable learners in our society who are unable to speak up for themselves.
6,799 Helen MallettUEAThe open university is a wonderful institute, offering education to those unable to access many of the more standard universities due to a variety of reasons. Cutting the regional centres cuts off many of these people, reducing the open university to just another distant, inaccessible institute. Not to mention, jeopardising nearly 500 jobs it utterly unacceptable.
6,798 Tom BowenThe Open University
6,797 Ashley WhalleyOpen University NWAs an OU AL I think these closure will sriously undermine the support for students on OU courses
6,796 Juliet LeadbeaterUniversity of ChesterThis will clearly be detrimental to the OU and devastating to the 500 if they lose their jobs.
6,795 robert smithcoventryI graduated in 1992 and enjoyed many a session at the Birmingham regional office. It was largely the only time I met students face to face. Whilst larger hubs are maybe more cost effective they are not good for the face to face support of the students. the OU was the front runner for distance learning which included summer schools, local student learning. Keep the local offices open.
6,794 Iain DaltonLeedsLeeds Socialist Party member
6,793 Chris WatkinsOUThe Bristol Regional centre was vital to me when I did my OU courses; In itself it was a fair distance for me to travel but without it I would have had no Centre within viable reach. This could be potentially deleterious for many current/future students.
6,792 Janette AtkinsonConnexions Gateshead
6,791 Paul SempleI am an invigilator with the OU. It would be a huge loss and a huge waste if the London centre in Hawley Crescent were to close. This is a wonderfully designed, purpose-built centre, which provides exactly the right facilities and atmosphere necessary for exam candidates who have special requirements. The staff based here are conscientious and unfailingly helpful. Please do NOT close it.
6,790 John JordanManchester Metropolitan UniversityThe Open University provides an essential service. It is vital that this service is maintained.
6,789 Maureen Harris Gateshead
6,788 Jon BryanTyne And WearThe Open University deserves our support - not job losses and closures
6,787 Lindsay BruceLeedsPlease keep out OU centres open. Its only because the OU centre is directly opposite my place of work which made me step inside and now I'm doing a Degree in Business Management! Would never have done this without seeing the OU there every day!!
6,786 Julie FreemanOpen University, Leeds R07...I think that students will lose out as they will not have a centre nearby to contact. Tutoes will also find it difficult to contact their line manager or resources.
6,785 patricia heritageleeds
6,784 paul heritageleeds
6,783 Gitte RasmussenCity College Brighton & HoveOU is the reason I was able to change my career while being a full time working childminder and single mum, and now teaching English in Further Education college.
6,782 Howard TredwellStirling
6,781 Laura dashpercheltenham
6,780 Cassie Canavan
6,779 Maurizio Valeri Brighton
6,778 RUTH CHARNOCKUNIVERSITY OF LINCOLNBecause I bellieve that the form of education that OU offers is vital for those who, for whatever reason, cannot or do want to attend mainstream HE institutions.
6,777 Craig haslopbrunel
6,776 judy whiteLeeds Beckett UniversityI'm a great admirer of the OU - it offers a great service to a wide variety of students many of whom would find it difficult to access mainstream universities. The loss of regional centres with the jobs involved will greatly undermine this delivery.
6,775 Howard FeatherOpen UniversityClosing the centres will deprive us of meeting places for formal and informal interaction and places where students can meet us, gain support etc.
6,774 steve butlerFoxcombe Hall whilst i dont work for OU. we do lease a building on the Foxcombe hall site and I know how well they look after this site and the impact it will have on the work force here if they close it. many of the staff have been here for many years
6,773 Amy ChandlerUniversity of Lincoln
6,772 Rosie JonesBrighton University
6,771 Tom Milburn
6,770 Lucy Gulland
6,769 Caitlin Hayward-Tapp Brighton These centres are vital to so many people.
6,768 Sarah PickettUniversity of Brighton
6,767 Alesia Moulton-PerknsBrighton
6,766 Jon WatsonUniversity of Brighton
6,765 Dana Josephson
6,764 Friederike LuepkeGreat BritainThe Open University stands for access to quality education for all. Without its regional centres, it will be an empty shell, further entrenching growing inequality in British society. This can't be allowed to happen!
6,763 Oliver Hill-Andrews Sussex
6,762 Lynette TateBrighton
6,761 A ScalesSussex
6,760 Anna DuncanUniversity of OxfordAccess to higher education for all is paramount to promoting equality and diversity in our society. Closing these seven centres concurrently is a cowardly attack on those who would not otherwise have access to higher education.
6,759 jonathan nimanCamden Town, LondonSurely very careful thought should be given and be shown to be given before undermining such a cherished institution as the Open University.
6,758 Alison SmithThe OU local centres are invaluable to the students. They provide a service that isn't possible for a virtual organisation. The staff are essential to the well-being of the students. Please don't close the centres - your service and effectiveness will be greatly diminished, and you'll lose students as a result.
6,757 LINDA SHORTI remember the Open University from the beginning. Although I've never studied under it I believe Michael Young and Harold Wilson and the Labour government of the time opened up the idea of university education to working class kids like me.
6,756 Stella SimsUniversity of Brighton
6,755 jasmine shadrackNoneI am a university lecturer and the idea of this institution facing closure is abhorrent
6,754 clair morrowsussex university
6,753 susan wilcoxndc polipak ltd. west midlandsSupporting my neice in her further education with open university
6,752 linda craigUK
6,751 Vicky LebeauUniversity of Sussex
6,750 Pamela ThurschwellSussex
6,749 Catherine GrantUniversity of SussexBecause this us an outrageous attack on longstanding and genuine efforts to "widen [higher education] participation. And because a lot if good people are going to lose their jobs.
6,748 Paul SngEast SussexFull support.
6,747 Lucy RobinsonE SussexOU is an essential access to education at a time when higher education is becoming more and more the privilege of the rich.
6,746 Guy Bennett-HunterUniversity of Edinburgh
6,745 Gemma ShortLondonSolidarity with staff fighting job losses and loss of support for students.
6,744 Linda WardUniv OxfordThe Open University regional centres are core to this important establishment. I hope the university will rethink this damaging and unjustifiable proposal
6,743 David GriffithsUniversity of Birmingham
6,742 Julie PercivalOU student As an OU student I find that the support offered by the skilled and experienced tutors is invaluable. The OU is an educational institution recognised the world over. Please do not compromise the education of current and future students by decimating the work force. You will quickly realise that this is a foolhardy strategy but by then it may be too late and a talented workforce will be lost.
6,741 Elizabeth BlakeyretiredI have benefited from the OU regional centre in Birmingham and feel it is important for others to have the same opportunities.
6,740 Sophie de VereCoventry
6,739 Simon JacksonUniversity of BirminghamThe Open University is respected the world over for bringing education of the highest quality to a wide range of people. At the centre of the mission are the regional centres and the dedicated staff who provide essential support. Closing them is a terrible idea.
6,738 Richard ThomasUniversity of Leicester
6,737 James CussensUniversity of York
6,736 Mike CoombesNewcastle Universityour family is a long time supporter of the OU including volunteering with local and regional support groups so we are well aware of the curial importance of the regional offices to the students who are less familiar with HE and so gain most from the different offer of the OU
6,735 David EdwardsUniversity of LeicesterThis is a very negative step undermining one of the gems of the British University system, which we all should value. The value of these regional centres to their mission cannot be doubted.
6,734 Rob AbbottUniversity of ChichesterI studies with the OU in the 70s and 80s. It is sad to see this wonderful progressive institution being slowly (or in this case quickly) eroded. An equal and fair society needs a means of those who had not had opportunities early in their lives to gain university level qualifications. Please let us not do to the OU the same thing that successive Governments have done to Adult Education.
6,733 George DunnQueens BelfastThe Open University is a worldp renowned institution which provides access to HE through its regional centres. Any dimunition in the service provided by their staff will affect the educational aspiratinos of many people in those areas. I am an OU graduate.
6,732 veronica killennorthumbria university
6,731 Deirdre O'SullivanUniversity of LeicesterThere has never been a greater need for support of further Education, widening participation and regional support for the great work carried out by the Open University
6,730 Nicholas Bardsley
6,729 Joan MyersCheshireEducation still remains the best way out of poverty, and the OU is the cornerstone of obtaining that education if you missed out first time around. It should be given support so that the gap between the rich and the poor does not become even wider.
6,728 Sanrda PillansI believe this move would be detrimental to the Open University
6,727 David MooreBirminghamEducation is a key foundation stone to a better and fairer society and provides an equal opportunity to all.
6,726 Sheila BeeversRetiredOU is an amazing institution which has enabled so very many people the opportunity to study and expand their education since its inception by a labour government many years ago. It is recognised the world over for its quality of teaching. The support of its regional offices is integral to the quality of that support.
6,725 Jenny Rivas PerezUniversity of LeedsThese regional support centres are very important to help support students in the region. Don't shut them down. At a time when its becoming increasingly difficult for students from non-traditional backgrounds to find a way into HE, the OU should be doing everything they can to support them, not removing support services.
6,724 Fiona CameronUniversity of Central LancashieFor many Disabled People studying using Distance Learning might be the best option available to them.
6,723 Ana Pinto
6,722 Martin WardDMU
6,721 S WallaceAberdeenFor many who have missed out on higher education OU is a vital opportunity to learn in greater depth. For those who want to update their knowledge or for the pure pleasure of learning OU is THE place to go. The UK needs as many people as possible to reach their and its full potential and to compete against other countries that hold education in greater esteem. Save this national treasure.
6,720 Laura HamerLiverpool Hope UniversityThe OU is an outstanding University, which opens up HE to a wide range of students who would otherwise struggle to participate.
6,719 Matthew BuryDATASocial mobility will be reduced even more by these shortsighted closures
6,718 Janet Culley-TuckerBirmingham Adult Education ServiceI believe it is vital that people who are unable to attend HE institutions should still be able to access HE courses via the Open Universty and its local support staff.
6,717 Joseph HaworthPrestonIn discarding these centre's, the OU is losing years of experience. I cannot see how this will help staff or students in any way. All in all, it makes the OU less accessible. A poor do OU! Ditch these plans now!
6,716 Scott WeichOpen University student
6,715 Harriet Fitz-simmonsThe Open University
6,714 Dawn SmithLondonI have been studying with the OU for 7 years and without the support of all the staff I would not be the better position I am now in due to completing my degree and now adding honours. How short sighted are the powers to be!!!
6,713 Kirstin LewisOpen UniversityI am Open University student so me and my friends will be affected and the kind tutors who supported through the years face losing their job
6,712 Sofia LaytonLeedsLocal support was essential to my mum when she did her OU degree later in life. The OU as a good formula that is being put at risk with these proposals.
6,711 David WickhamI believe it would lesson power of ou courses around the country
6,710 melony robertsonguildford
6,709 Rebekah HiggittUniversity of Kent
6,708 Jamie ThomasBristolGood friend works for centre, which provides a lot of valuable support.
6,707 Tom Baker
6,706 Liz FletcherWEAI wish to support OU colleagues in the forthcoming months, I understand the need to close the Cambridge site but would wish to see OU staff given every assistance in finding employment. Cambridge is going to be a hard place to find Admin or Financial work in the Education Sector.
6,705 Susan TurnerMMUI worked in the OU NW Regional Office for 10 years. I know what a valuable resource they are and how hard the regional staff work to support both staff and students in this fantastic university.
6,704 Lynda HallUniversity of LeedsI used to work for the Open University at the Leeds regional office, and as such I am fully aware of the importance of local centres in supporting students.
6,703 Raymond BryantKing's College LondonI oppose this proposed plan that goes against everything that the OU was designed for.
6,702 James Urpeth--University of Greenwich
6,701 Warren PhillipsHertfordshireIn my long association with the OU, I have always been in regular contact with my regional centre. So much better to liase with then a centrally organised system.
6,700 MELVYN BATTERSBYDONCASTER COLLEGEFurther & Higher education facilities & opportunities for the working class are essential to allow a 'second bite of the educational cherry'. I was one of the many who was allowed this opportunity more than 50 yrs ago. OU regional centres are significant and essential for continuing to provide this form of educational support for working people near their homes. Fight against the closure.
6,699 Trixie RocheStudying with the ou changed my life. I was also lucky enough to work in a regional centre where I enjoyed encouraging others to achieve. Unfortunately I was forced out of my job after 19 years. I was unsurprised but disappointed to hear of the impending closures. The last 3 years have seen so many major changes to the university mostly to the detriment of both students and staff.
6,698 Emma StringfellowCoventry university
6,697 Carolyn Checkleyretired lecturer, ucu memberAll avenues for education are essential to the future of the uk and its workforce. All ages, all aspirations are extremely important - and OU should not be trimmed by bureaucrats who are not cogniscent.
6,696 Allison DrewYork
6,695 Trevor DaviesUniversity of Glasgow
6,694 Angela WilsonHalifax. W. YorkshireI am a former student. The OU gave me the chance to study and obtain a degree, which would not have been possible through the normal system due to work, location and family. They also work together with FutureLearn on Free Courses online.
6,693 Thomas BettsLoughborough UniversityI work with distance-learning students and can see how these closures will reduce the OU's capability to support them adequately, effectively shutting more people out of the opportunity for further study alongside other commitments. It is a step backwards.
6,692 David PonsonbyCanterbury - retiredThe OU is a lifeline to those who really want a university education but whose circumstances prevent full or part time attendance for a conventional degree. Its concept is a brilliant legacy of governments that used to care about their constituents - its quality and commitment must be preserved for its staff and students, now and for the future.
6,691 mehdi husaini husainiTeesside University
6,690 Val ManningRetired The OU offerers opportunity to those who, for no fault of their own, were unable to follow a conventional route to a degree . It needs to be nurtured not punished
6,689 Dr Bill StephensonUCL
6,688 Abdul ShaikhWest Yorkshire
6,687 jane fearonSheffield Hallam UniversityIt is clear that current and former staff and students feel that these closures would severely compromise the quality of provision, especially in relation to students from relatively disadvantaged groups. As such, this looks like yet another high handed management decision which treats staff with contempt and, sadly, typifies the current direction of education policy in schools, FE and HE.
6,686 Bee EdwardsHertsStudied with the OU for years and have always had fantastic support. Would hate to see this disappear for future OU students.
6,685 Geraldine Lawless
6,684 David WildUniversity of Warwick
6,683 CHRISTOPHER ROWLANDUNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
6,682 Chris GouldHMP FordThe Regional staff offer a fantastic service to all students and in particular to those who study whils in prison. Shame on the OU for this retrograde move.
6,681 Charles ElfordCT5
6,680 stephen daviesEast Berkshire CollgeThe Open University is important to allow higher education to working people. It must remain regionally based and not centralised
6,679 Robin AttfieldCardiff UniversityI am outraged at the proposals to close Open University regional centres, and deprive students of the services and the care that they currently offer.
6,678 Barbara TribeUniversity of ReadingI am an OU graduate, and during my studies derived much benefit from the support of my regional centre in Oxford. The OU is an outstanding institution and I am sorry to see it taking this action which will harm both staff and students.
6,677 Pauline McCannOU West Midlands Open learning students need more support than conventional students. This cost-saving exercise will put the learning and support of many students at risk.
6,676 Eleni Andreouliopen university
6,675 Gregory WellsUniversity of SouthamptonAs an current OU student I support the fantastic workers in these offices who do a great job and should not be forced to relocate or feel threatened in their position.
6,674 Nina BishopLondonThis cost cutting exercise is not going to help in the long run when other agencies may have to help
6,673 Pauline BarryOpen University/Walton HallOU local presence in locations is vital to keep the name of the OU in prominence.
6,672 Rachael MillingOutside USI believe closing Regional Centres will strike at the heart of the Open University, which has improved thousands of peoples' lives since it began.
6,671 Annette ClarkeShropshireI have worked for OU for 5 years in Wales and England. Regional centres are not the OU 's rolls royce model, they are absolutely essential to serve students and A/L's . Losing 500 staff will be catastrophic to services, ruin the OU's amazing reputation for service and support to vulnerable students and staff and lead to an impoverished service all round . Its a crazy idea!
6,670 Diana SandersCorwen
6,669 Isabel BeckerI am retiredI am signing because I am totally thinking like you and we all have to get together to fight against those people who are in power and they are totally destructive.
6,668 andrew robinsonbirminghamThe OU offers courses to improve job prospects which would otherwise be not available to me, as I work full time.. The OU course is the only option open to me to continue my education. the tutor advise is invaluable. I fully support there action.
6,667 Alec NaylerUniversity Hospital Southampton NHS FTI AM SIMPLY SIGNING TO ADD MY VOICE TO THIS DEBATE AS I MYSELF AM STARTING IN OU IN 2016. The GOVT IS IRESPONCIBLE AND RECKLESS
6,666 Jo MillarO U student , East MidlandsHuman contact and face to face help and advice invaluable in all forms of education , don't make students into just airwaves.
6,665 Paul HubertUniversity of Kent, CanterburyWant to express solidarity on behalf of the branch but no chance to get formal decision
6,664 Davidson UghanwaOU, RO1, LondonFirst, 500 jobs are on the line and this will have significant impact on their families, given the government's stringent austerity measures. Second, provision of consistent excellent service s, currently provided by regional exam support team may suffer. In turn, this will affect students. Add to all of the above, that things may never be the same again. Thank you.
6,663 Mike WilliamsonScotland
6,662 Tom ParrUnemployed
6,661 J KitchenStudent GloucestershireI believe the OU should invest in providing staff and services on a Regional basis, to provide a quality coverage of expertise across the UK. Beneficial for attracting staff, and for students, support within accessible travelling distance is vital. The OU should be very concerned that it doesn't become just another on-line training provider.
6,660 Steven CopeUniversity of KentTo support a provision that has historically been an access route for those unable to commit to other forms of HE study.
6,659 Barbara MayorOU central academic (semi-retired)I fear, if the proposed changes go through, what will be lost are a sense of local community for both staff & students, continuity in personalised support, esp. for more disadvantaged students, & local knowledge to sort out local issues in recruitment/ delivery. These person-centred values & resources have been built up over a period of almost 50 years & are amongst the OU's most precious assets.
6,658 Louise MullinsBristolBecause the Open University regional centre closures are adding more stress onto students who are already dealing with sudden question changes, modules being discontinued and ambiguous exams from the OU. This is going to make our studies even harder.
6,657 Sheila VaughanOpen University DublinI think it will have very negative impacts on the student body to lose the pool of knowledge that the staff have. Quite simply, this can never be replaced.
6,656 Demetrios HadjidemetriouCity and Islington CollegeWorking in an FE college we are facing the same problems.
6,655 Tooba QadriUniversity of OxfordThe centres provide the opportunity for people in a variety of circumstances to still obtain a further study qualification and so closing them would reduce access to a large number of people who otherwise may not be able to receive this level of education.
6,654 Barbara Barbara Macaulay NRCI'm a member of UCU and a student @ OU and the staff do an amazing job. Any job losses will have a detrimental effect on students.
6,653 Coleen HughesBristolPeople need the face to face experience having everything online isnt always the best option, seeing people who are doing the dame thing as you and trying to achieve the same goals and seeing people through the tough times and being nervous to getting through your course it gets you through it all.
6,652 Fran EllikerLeedsTo close these regional centres would deny applicants and students valuable advice, help and guidance that Regional Centre staff provide locally and for which the OU is highly regarded. These closures would also have a detrimental effect on student numbers in the future.
6,651 Niki TragenManchester met university The OU offers unique courses for people who aren't able to access other forms of education , their work around widening participation and cpd are invaluable
6,650 wendy wheeldonOU student
6,649 Kathryn Fowler
6,648 Marese McGraneEast SussexSave the OU!
6,647 Andy WarrenKing's College LondonBecause it is the most egalitarian and accessible institution in the UK and we should defend the workers and students.
6,646 laura steilecole pratique des hautes etudes
6,645 Catherine MerrimanWorcestershireAs a former OU student, the OU is an wonderful institution and deserves support not closure of regional offices.
6,644 Inga SūnāksleI am a student at the OUI do not want it to be internet only University.
6,643 Kerry ParsonsCardiffThe OU provides people, who may have not been able to access university when younger, with the opportunity to study for a higher degree in their own time. They need support to do this.
6,642 Emma OuterbridgeSuffolkThe OU is such a valuable resource as a helpful alternative where full time education is not possible, I fear this will not be as readily available if these cuts go ahead.
6,641 Jan PorterRetired
6,640 Mel Cheetham
6,639 Sophie OberliesLeedsI'm a student at the OU.
6,638 Patricia WilliamsSelf employedCompletely agree that the centres shouldn't be shut down! The OU is an invaluable educational opportunity for so many.
6,637 Annamaria Dovier-WalkoOpen University - R01I firmly believe that the planned changes will affect detrimentally the students as well as jeopardising the work-place for many effective and hard-working academics.
6,636 Binu C
6,635 Graham Statham TelfordI have used the Birmingham Centre and find that far enough to travel thank you
6,634 Richard Woodcock Milton Keynes
6,633 Maria UtherUniversity of Winchester
6,632 Simon MurchSheffield NUTYet another attack on education for the masses by the privileged few! Utterly disgraceful.
6,631 Laura Elliff KentIf it wasn't for the Open University, I would never have been able to attend university and work towards getting a degree. These closures are threatening peoples education and also their lives.
6,630 Rosie BlanshardKentAs a distance learner I truly value the support of the regional OU staff. The closure of the East Grinstead Centre has already impacted on students here in the South East - our recent day school at Canterbury was a confused mess - no one was able to tell students which room of 5 was for which class. Thankfully the tutors took control for the afternoon session and put up notices.
6,629 Catherine HardyOpen UniversityAs an OU student, I am very concerned about the negative effects these closures are likely to have on myself and on other current and future students.
6,628 Stephen LeicesterThe Open University should remain open for all. That includes access to regional centres without the need to travel long distances.
6,627 Kerry WadeUniversity of Salford
6,626 Victoria MichalkeGravesend, KentAs a distance learner I value the support and guidance of the Open University's staff and believe it would be a great loss if our local centres close.
6,625 Helen SOU Region 5
6,624 mona khanBerkshire
6,623 Adele Laurence
6,622 S James
6,621 Islam AbdelgadirSelect a StateBecause I don't want my younger siblings having access to a worse education than me.
6,620 Kerry SignorielloOU MK
6,619 Manjit Dhamret
6,618 Lesa KoorsseDerbyThe change / reduction in staff and staff support will affect the standard and reputation of ou
6,617 Ann FarmerBromsgroveWhen I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, staff from the regional centre provided me with first class support , and they have continued to do so ever since. Their local knowledge has enabled me to continue my studies successfully. Without a regional centre which provides a library, course expertise, a centre for day-schools, events and exams, students and staff will feel cut-off.
6,616 Will HughesCheshireThe staff already perform miracles to maintain the quality of education the Open University is world famous for. These closures will directly affect that quality as well as the OU's competitiveness. As a current OU student I am deeply saddened to think that future students may not be offered the level of study afforded to me.
6,615 Hari PrinjhaOpen University/Region 4Most of the mature and disabled students rely on Open University to realise their dreams. Normal students know where they going but the above mentioned groups need help, advice and guidance, which you are threatening to stop. Cuts wherever possible in austere times, but cuts in EDUCATION, Health and security may prove counter-productive.
6,614 Felicity Allison
6,613 Lowry McCombOpen University region 9 and OU alumni
6,612 Steph Richards
6,611 Affonso De RosaOU student
6,610 Dr Michael CostelloUniversity of KentI benefited from the patience and expertise of staff of the OU when my studies were supervised and encourage by them and am convinced that nothing should be done to cut back that facility, least of all sacking staff.
6,609 susan warnerstudentAs a graduate of the OU, I would like to stress the importance of regional centres for the OU community - they enable a continuity for students and support distance learning tutors in providing that continuity as the student progresses through their studies.
6,608 Gary GerrellI have a friend who has worked for the OU for many years and although their job is not at risk (for now!) they are very upset about the effect these changes will have on students
6,607 Vincent QuinnUniversity of Sussex
6,606 Shirley BrooksUniversity of WinchesterThis is an outrage - the Open University is a jewel in the crown and the centres are vital to support students in their studies.
6,605 Rebecca HewittUniversity of Nottingham
6,604 Faisal KadriArtificialPsychology
6,603 Graham EnglishCanterbury CollegeThe OU regional centres provide a vital, expert and broad-ranging, service to OU students. The centres are worth preserving for this alone, as well as to be fair and moral towards the staff in the centres. In addition, however, the teaching staff, and students, will also suffer from teaching staff workload increases in due course with the knock-on effect of teaching staff taking on the extra work
6,602 Shamira MeghaniLeedsClosing the remaining regional centres is quite simply an outrageous betrayal of the values the OU was set up with. Anyone with a knowledge of pedagogy knows that there is only a limited amount of learning that happens at distance, and that face-to-face meetings with teaching and support staff are crucial, especially for the more vulnerable among students. Who benefits from this destruction?
6,601 Patricia BakerKent
6,600 Hannah MinnsRetired social worker, OU alumniThe OU will not work for poor and disabled students any longer in the form of closures proposed.
6,599 Cassie whiston Support
6,598 Robert BellingerRICSThe Open University provides targeted teaching to students that have made a real commitment to the future of their education with targeted employment of at the outset. Contrast this with normal university students who, let's face it, waste the opportunities full degree courses provide through the end of a bottle. Most are NOT career based and so add little to the tax income of the country.
6,597 Kirti PatelBCUBecause i have a friend who uses one of your centres and think its atrocious to close so many regional centres when students need the support and stability when doing an open university degree. Please don't close!
6,596 Alex VeitchReedOpen University is a wonderful way to learn and qualify for people who cannot access other forms of education. However Some regional support is still necessary. I imagine the tutors also need regional support. To cut so many centres is savage. Those in the Southwest particularly are affected.
6,595 TAMSIN FERGUSSONBRISTOL
6,594 Rachel WheelhouseOU Walton Hall
6,593 David IsaacsonBuckinghamshire
6,592 Daphne CarrMontclair State UniversityI respect the mandate of Open University to provide quality education for a wide range of students, and see these closures as an erosion of the mandate. Now more than ever, we need support staff and faculty who can give students the care and attention they need to succeed. There should be growth, not cuts, for these regional centres.
6,591 Catherine ArnoldSheffield Hallam UniversityI support this petition as the support for students at regional level is essential for the OU. The institution was started to provide opportunity for people at all stages of life to be educated to HE level. Removing the support is disadvantaging those students.
6,590 Christine BaylissS.ShropshireStudents shouldn't be restricted because of where they live to achieve an Open uni degrees ...
6,589 Amie Melissa EdwardsWorcestershire
6,588 Ceri MorrisonLiverpool
6,587 kyle finneran
6,586 Grace ReddingStudent
6,585 Grace Henley
6,584 Claire GonnetOUGood luck x
6,583 Kerry Bancroft-MartinHereford As it is our regional centre is located in a fair distance from my home. If this regional centre was to Close it would cause massive inconvenience to myself and also I feel that our area of the country would not be represented in the right manner.
6,582 Amy B
6,581 James WoodsOU alumni, UK.Because the OU regional centres provide so much support. I now have a BA an MA and an amazing job - things I couldn't have achieved without the OU.
6,580 Philip LeicesterLoughborough UniversityThe OU does invaluable work in enabling participation and access to HE. The presence of regional centres is vital for students to have personalised support from, and access to, tutors and support services without which some students may struggle to access HE.
6,579 Katherine OsborneLondonI am an OU student, and I see this for what it is - the OU is removing face-to-face teaching. Shameful, given that human interaction is a vital part of teaching.
6,578 Alice GrangerBirmingham Distance learning can be difficult enough as it is, these closures will just make students feel more isolated!
6,577 Joao Filipe Ruivo FelixCardiff UniversityI stand in solidarity with the staff at Open University and all the staff and students that are being attacked by the cuts.
6,576 A UnderhillPrevious OU student - Current staff memberI was an OU student before coming to work here and I believe in this institution. That said this particular course of action appears short-sighted and ill-informed. It reeks of a misunderstanding of the variety and importance of the work in our regional centres. How can the OU expect to have a seat at regional tables without cherishing the staff that work so well to recruit & support students now?
6,575 Dawn TriminghamOU ManchesterHaving extensive experience (15 years) of working in professional telephone advice and customer service centres as well as over 10 years’ service at the Open University providing educational IAG services, I certainly do understand the commercial need for change that includes streamlining and improving our services to our students. However, professionally providing educational services and managing our students’ needs cannot measured by wages or easily evaluated by statistics. Staff continue to manage constant change (curriculum, regulations, policy, process and procedures using a myriad of OU systems) with the aim of providing effective and efficient services to our students. This commitment to students is essential and certainly appears to be under-valued and appreciated by the outcome of the Locations Analysis. I am very unsure if and how this dedication and goodwill can be maintained. OU staff are some of the most hard-working and dedicated people I have ever worked with and their loss will be devastating for students and colleagues too.
6,574 Jeremy FenouilletGreater LondonI think regional centres are an essential part of the OU, closing any of them would be detrimental to students and tutors.
6,573 Melanie Peters-TurnerGreater ManchesterThe local centres make the difference between Distant and Distance - Distant=high drop out rates. Having local staff allows students to interact properly with tutors and staff, which is especially important when students are living in some of the most deprived parts of the country. Education is a way out, which is only enhanced by local centres.
6,572 Vicki Lywood LastSE EnglandThis is a retrograde step to diminish the lack of presence of OU. So much experience and contact will be lost at all levels. Decisions cannot be informed by people 'in the field'.
6,571 Sharon ForderOU - Milton Keynes
6,570 Susan RogersSurreyEducation sector is already stretched to breaking point. Ex business owner in education and childcare sector. Ex degree student & current college student, i value this support .
6,569 Joan GrechWEST SUSSEXThey are important for the UK's economic success
6,568 James FinlaysonUniversity of SussexThe OU regional centres do excellent work.
6,567 Jennifer WestcottAs an OU student I am concerned by a potential lack of support and am worried about what these closures mean for the future of the Open University.
6,566 david holmesgloucestershireas an ex OU student I appreciate how valuable and necessary the student support system is. Indeed it is a cornerstone to the OU's long years of success.
6,565 Carol PearceEast Sussex HealthcareAs an OU alumnus (and still hoping to do future courses) I would not have achieved half as much as I have without the support available from the Regional Centres. I am a trainer myself now and know how important it is to have that support as near as possible to the course delegates.
6,564 Rachel AppsHampshireThe OU has always given its students the support and time needed to give them the best chance of reaching their potential. I have had extended phone calls and email exchanges with various tutors over the years when things have been tough and it has undoubtly helped. Good luck to all the tutors on this issue - without you there really is no OU.
6,563 Mandy MahalskisurreyI am an OU student and the closure of these regional centres would have a seriously detrimental impact on the both students and the dedicated staff who do a fantastic job.
6,562 Kirsty GilksAlcester
6,561 Tim PorterUKI am a past OU student and my experience is that reliance upon electronic means of communication will significantly downgrade the learning experience and lead to a drop in student numbers.
6,560 Jane GreenwoodSuffolkThe OU is one of our very best and most valuable life-enhancing institutions - we should be proud of it not cutting it.
6,559 HELEN TODDANTRIMAs al AL, I oppose the decision to close 7 regional centres, believing this to be detrimental to the service we provide to the students.
6,558 Somaya PattersonIn shaa Allah this matter will be resolved without any job losses or negative impact on the OU students' experience.
6,557 Patrick WongOpen UniversityI do feel the university is rushing the proposal through without thoroughly consider the consequences of this to its staffs and students.
6,556 Eleanor PorterOUThe regional centres are successful. Students and staff value the sense of community made possible by regional identities.
6,555 JOHN ROBINSONI don't think enough thought has been given to a wider picture...now and moving forwards.
6,554 ASWIN SUNDARAMMILTON KEYNES Bad course of action!.
6,553 Lisa EdwardsWalesAs past OU student, the closure of regional centres is short-sighted. Part-time, distance learning can at times feel very isolated and requires a great deal of self discipline and motivation. The support provided by the staff in the regional centres is invaluable. They are the reason that so many OU students are successful and without successful students, there is no Open University.
6,552 Maria BookerMilton Keynes OUI believe that the decision lacks a strategic vision and will not be in the best interest of both students and academic staff. Regional centres also allow physical access for students where, otherwise, there would be none, at least not with great detriment to the student; in particular, those with special needs.
6,551 Craig MillardOpen University Walton Hall
6,550 Kay YallupNottinghamshireAs a former OU student who benefited from the support offered by my local regional centre. I strongly feel that all students should continue to receive this support.
6,549 Keiron BrownRetired
6,548 charlotte coupeManchester
6,547 Sne PadhyaThe Open University
6,546 Michael JohnsonOU - Nottingham OfficeI am signing because the proposed changes are being justified by false information and people who clearly do not understand the implications of their decision. I fear this is a mistake the University will never recover from. My colleagues in the closing Regions have my deepest sympathy at the unprofessional and cold way they have been treated during this process by the higher management. Since all the changes came in, the only reason that the University has not already collapsed is because of the extra mile staff have gone to - and the clear message from the top is that we are all expendable, and brand new staff will be able to come in and do the job just as well. Well they are wrong and the most valuable resource they have at their disposal is their loyal and experienced staff. Until now of course as even the staff who have survived are totally disillusioned
6,545 Karen KearBecause OU staff in the centres do an excellent job and are key to student support
6,544 Lyndsay HallOU Student/SurreyAs an OU student for some years now, I find it invaluable to have these regional centres in order for things to run more smoothly and allow for greater support in each region. This has already started to suffer as of this year already. As students we pay a lot of money to study with the OU and should therefore receive a service condusive to this cost!
6,543 T McAllisterScotlandAs both a long term student, and front line staff member of the Open University, I have not been persuaded at all that these changes have any merit strategically, financially or in relation to support for students and staff. Add to this the shocking lack of real consultation and engagement with staff and students, I find the whole project objectionable.
6,542 Androulla CorbinWalton HallI fully support the UCU campaign to stop the University from closing seven of the nine regional centres, resulting in the possible loss of over 500 experienced OU staff. This could potentially be a detriment to the University and the services that it provides to students.
6,541 Simone RussellOU Milton KeynesHaving worked for the OU for 33 years, the regions have been instrumental in the success of the OU and I do fear such a massive change for a great british institution may not survive in the future lets hope I am proved wrong!!!
6,540 Alison EyresSenckenberg, Frankfurt
6,539 Dharmista Patel
6,538 Freda PatersonThe Open University in ScotlandI think a lot of valuable local knowledge would be lost with these closures and the decision to close these 7 regional centres risks long-term damage to The Open University's reputation and existence.
6,537 thea HEALYLONDON
6,536 Mara Fuertes GutiérrezThe Open University
6,535 Evone mccallionHMP FELTHAM ( retired )my education was completed through OU, a very valuable asset we cannot lose it.
6,534 Graham WakleyOpen UniversityA shocking decision that long term will mean the end of the Open University.
6,533 Emily Jones
6,532 Paula CarleyMCC
6,531 Sarah BrownAnglia Ruskin University
6,530 Penny AndrewsUniversity of SheffieldWithout the OU and tireless support from my regional centre (Leeds) I would not have got through a BSc with multiple disabilities and gone on to achieve a distinction in my MSc at Sheffield and start a PhD.
6,529 Alison RyanThe OU make education accessible for all at any age and any incone.
6,528 Julie Saul
6,527 Rachel DaviesPlymouthI saw the benefits my friend and her daughter reaped from being an OU student I remeber waching the programes on televission as a child. To loose such a valuble and asesable resouse would be detrimental
6,526 Lindsey PorterOU is vital for educational equality. We have no other HEI that can do what OU does. Its unique and carefully refined teaching methods--including face to face support in the regions--needs to be protected. Not ripped to bits on the whim of whoever is at the helm this week.
6,525 Jonathan DonnellyN.IrelandThe OU regional centres help me greatly.
6,524 David EllisonOU AL, Dundee
6,523 robbie laWEAThis decision is outrageous !
6,522 Dianne Barry City of Glasgow College
6,521 GLENN MEALINGretired
6,520 Louise WestmarlandWalton Hall
6,519 sally evans
6,518 Caroline KaranjiaOU English studentI am horrified at the reduction in OU regional centres and loss of support for the staff
6,517 IAN MITCHELLCalverley, PudseyWe need to keep these centres open
6,516 Jacqueline DougallMy Sister gained her first honours with OU and could not have done otherwise, do not deny the chance of a first class education in their own time whilst earning a living
6,515 Roxanna DougallSurrey
6,514 Matthew SaundersTheory UnitOU is an institution at the heart of British culture and education; reduce its ability to look after and advise its users and you join the rest of the big business and bankers fraternity only looking after the bottom line.
6,513 Sue HayesCheshireI feel that the closures will be detrimental to students - regional centres provide a more personalised feel to students.
6,512 Michelle FlemingCivil ServiceOU too valuable to lose please don't close these centres education needs to be available to all. I'm considering an OU course and there's no way I could achieve a degree elsewhere as I'm a nature student with responsibilities.
6,511 Patricia CroninEghamI graduated from the OU and would not have been able to obtain a degree any other way.
6,510 Sean DoyleUCL IOEThe Open University is a marvellous British institution that should be perceived as an accolade rather than a hindrance to British culture.
6,509 Charlotte Patience
6,508 Lisa Kartanou Plymouth Because I am an Open Uni Alumnus and the regional centres are the lifeblood of students and staff alike.
6,507 Linda FieldingI want to support my tutor.
6,506 Nicolas Trenor LopezOpen University
6,505 Amanda MolloyFormer member of staff in Edinburgh. Student support cannot be maintained to high standard without regional representation. OU Regional infrastructure is the University's greatest strength.
6,504 susan scottOU very important resource for furthering education
6,503 Robin Raviseveral universities
6,502 Kaye McIntyreSurreyThe OU have supported me in my studies over the years - often going above and beyond the call of duty...it would be a tragic loss to the community who cannot attend brick universities and rely on the OU if these centres are closed.
6,501 Rachel Jane CobbWest MidlandsCan't believe you are closing our wonderful Regional Centre in Harborne - the staff there are so experienced and supportive - can't see how their roles could be anything like matched elsewhere
6,500 Caroline BruntonNewcastle-Upon-Tyne
6,499 Anthony JohnBishop's StortfordAs a mature student that is in my final year I could easily ignore this issue, but it affects future students. My 6 years have been spent studying in the Cambridge area. I would not have realised my ambitions without the support and guidance of the tutors and the regional centres. Changing the structure will harm the integrity of the OU and ultimately damage its status.
6,498 Ann Hedgeswest MidlandsI feel this will contribute further to the OU losing face to face contact with its students
6,497 Deborah HermannsLSE
6,496 Thomas SobolewskiLeedsClosing such major regional centres will affect students and tutors alike. How can you advertise as much as you do for OU students, which attracted me, and then not give them the support by getting rid of over 500 jobs? If I've missed the way this will help students, please, enlighten me.
6,495 Naomi YoungFor many people, the OU is a stepping stone back to higher education, better skills and a better life and as such is a valuable, respected and much needed institution in the UK. To close these centres would be short-sighted at best and incredibly detrimental to the needs of current and future students.
6,494 Mithika DcruzLondon, City of LondonBecause I think the regional centers benefit the students in remote areas.
6,493 Debora Byrne
6,492 Sheila WilliamsonSurrey
6,491 Evelyn KerslakeLeicestershireI am very concerned about how the plan will be implemented and the lack of discussion about this and its implications for students and the management of ALs. Going ahead with the closures while such matters are, so far as I can see, unconsidered, is dangerous to the continuing vitality of the OU.
6,490 Debra HealBristol
6,489 Ben Oconnor
6,488 Anthony douglasmilton keynes
6,487 Susan TibblesUniversity of OxfordOxfordshire County Association of Trades Union Councils and Oxford & District Trades Union Council also UNISON Oxford University & Colleges all send you a message of support. It is an absolute disgrace that our education especially for ordinary working class people is constantly under threat. How are these staff members expected to find other jobs particularly where housing is not affordable?
6,486 Elaine WattNewcastle UniI am a Gateshead resident and I dread the impact this will have on the job market in my town and on those using the Open University to study in a very deprived area.
6,485 Kit PowerThe Open UniversityThis is an ill-conceived decision that carries a very high risk of damaging both the OU brand and mission statement.
6,484 Judith HorneOpen University in ScotlandI don't believe the plans have been very well thought out in terms of supporting our students and staff.
6,483 A BahUniversity of BrightonThe OU is such an important resource, it needs these centres, the alternative will be a poorer service.
6,482 Adele CreerAL
6,481 Emma CordinerNorthampton University student
6,480 Callum CantUniversity of Sussex
6,479 Patricia KilleenWest MidlandsBecause the face to face tutorials are a very necessary part of studying with the OU. It would be detrimental to students,
6,478 Lawrence GreenOpen University
6,477 Elizabeth LawtonStratford upon AvonI feel that staff and students should be able to meet up with their students from time to time without travelling huge distances and I also think that the loss of such a number of dedicated and conscientious staff would be a disaster for the smooth running of the Open University. It is for this reason that I am against the closure of the regional centres of the Open University.
6,476 Kambiz Saber-sheikhUniversity of Brighton.For someone based in the South East of England, the nearest regional centre will be hundreds of miles away! Lets get some common sense involved in the discussion please.
6,475 jim cookeUniversity of Brighton
6,474 Annie JonesSheffield Hallam
6,473 Sarah WilkinsUniversity of BrightonThere won't be anything left soon..
6,472 Carol CodyCity of Liverpool College
6,471 Laura TrotterSouthampton