Welcome to the stakeholder newsletter from The Open University in Scotland
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I hope you are having an enjoyable autumn.

We welcomed lots of new students last month and we're currently receiving registrations for students to start in February. Two-thirds of our students are eligible to study for free with the undergraduate part-time fee grant.

Our 50th anniversary year is drawing to a close. As you'll see below, much has been achieved but there's still more to come. And we will always celebrate our students and their successes. 

As ever, do get in touch if you'd like to work – or celebrate! – with us.

Susan Stewart
Director, The Open University in Scotland

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Celebrating success

Celebrations at degree ceremonies in Glasgow

Honorary graduates tennis coach Judy Murray, author Professor Louise Welsh, and campaigner Doctor Corinne Hutton joined around 530 Open University (OU) graduates at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall in September to receive their awards.

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Latest news

New exhibitions celebrate Jennie Lee, Scottish founder of the OU

Scotswoman Jennie Lee was an MP before she was old enough to vote and she became the first ever UK Minister for the Arts. In the 1960s she fought for a university open to all and left a strong legacy with the OU empowering millions of learners worldwide. An exhibition exploring her life is being displayed in Glasgow and Lochgelly. An online exhibition of the OU Jennie Lee Archive Collection - such as the following clip - also launched on the OU Digital Archive

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Three new college partnerships announced

The OU in Scotland has announced new partnerships with Ayrshire College, Dundee & Angus College, and Fife College; providing students who want to progress to degree-level study with flexible and innovative routes that recognise the value of college qualifications.

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Skills shortages cost Scottish businesses £360 million

According to a new report that monitors the skills landscape of Scotland and the rest of the UK, skills shortages now cost Scottish businesses over £360 million per year. The report also revealed that two thirds of Scottish employers agree that developing the skills of the existing workforce is more sustainable than ‘buying in’ new talent.

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Event highlights

Gordon Brown says the OU is a “national treasure” at Edinburgh International Book Festival’s OU 50th Anniversary Series event

“The OU is one of our national treasures” said former OU associate lecturer and former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.

Mr Brown interviewed Prof John Sexton of New York University as part of the Book Festival’s OU 50th Anniversary Series, which included events with OU honorary graduates Val McDermid and Benjamin Zephaniah.

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Major international education conference hosted in Scotland

The Ninth Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF9) - a major four-day international conference on inclusive and open education - was held in Edinburgh in September. It was jointly hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning and the OU and attracted around 600 delegates from all over the world.

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Roadshow brings events to employers across Scotland

The OU has brought a roadshow of events to employers across Scotland this year. 'Upskilling Your Workforce' events have taken place in Shetland, Orkney, Inverness, Oban, Irvine, Dundee and Dumfries. The roadshow will conclude with an event for employers in Stirling on 3 December.

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Our dynamic earth, oceans and cosmos explored in interactive events

The award-winning Blue Planet II series and developments in space science since the first moon landing, were explored in interactive public talks at Dynamic Earth - Scotland’s five-star earth sciences visitor attraction - in Edinburgh during Scotland's October school holidays. 

The talks were accompanied by a two-day public interactive science showcase for all.

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Blue Planet II and Moons talks across Scotland

As part of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s talks series, Prof Mark Brandon, an OU academic advisor for Blue Planet II (pictured with Sir David  Attenborough), delivered talks in Inverness, Perth and Stirling last month. 

Dr Mahesh Anand, OU Reader in Planetary Science and Exploration, will bring his talk 'Living on the Moon! The next 50 years' to Dumfries, the Borders and Ayr in February 2020. 

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Catherine Simpson, author and OU alumnus, explores the power of writing

In a blog ahead of her event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, Catherine Simpson, award-winning author and OU in Scotland creative writing alumnus, shared her experiences of using the power of writing to deal with grief. 

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Dr Julie McElroy, OU student and disability rights campaigner, gives TEDx talk

Dr Julie McElroy, an OU in Scotland student and award-winning disability rights campaigner, delivered a talk on how assistive technology can be an enabler to society, as part of TEDxOpenUniversity: Imagine What's Next, which took place earlier this month.

Watch Julie's talk (at 2:01:00)
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The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302). The Open University is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to its secondary activity of credit broking.

The Open University in Scotland

Jennie Lee House
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0131 226 3851

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