The Open University is partnering with local further education providers as part of the effort to boost skills and job prospects across the country.
Announced today by higher and further education minister Michelle Donelan, the scheme will see The Open University work with colleges that do not currently offer higher technical education or want to expand the range of courses they offer.
Backed by £10m of funding, the scheme will help ‘local colleges to offer high-quality higher education and training’, according to the minister.
‘For too long, people have had to look beyond their hometown for higher education courses,’ Ms Donelan said.
‘The Government is backing The Open University with the funding and support to partner up with local colleges to offer high-quality higher education and training, targeting cold spots across the country, so everyone can upskill wherever they live.
‘This marks a new era for higher education, supporting more people to gain the skills needed to get good jobs, with higher wages that will help to grow the economy and tackle the cost of living.’
Professor Tim Blackman, vice-chancellor of The Open University, commented: ‘Further education colleges are at the heart of their communities. By the Government supporting us to work with colleges to develop their higher education offer we can together make a huge contribution to levelling up our most disadvantaged areas.
‘These new courses will provide advanced skills that can attract new businesses and help others grow, creating sustainable and highly skilled jobs.’