Unionlearn and the Open University took the opportunity of the unionlearn annual conference on 12th July to refresh their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at motivating union members into Higher Education and giving them discounts on courses.

The MoU was signed by Dr Liz Marr, Director of Teaching, Learning and Teaching Innovation at The Open University (OU) and unionlearn Director Kevin Rowan, and aims to widen opportunities for vocational learners to progress into and through Higher Education and will enable unionlearn and the OU increase their partnership working.

The MoU confirmed the intention of the OU and unionlearn to discuss and explore the possibility of working together to extend opportunities available to adults and support lifelong learning.

The MoU aims to raise the profile of learning opportunities that increase progression and the transition from informal to formal learning in Higher Education by developing and sharing assets, including student case studies to inspire learners. It commits the organisations to work collectively with others to lobby and campaign to raise the profile and importance of widening participation and lifelong learning, and provide information, advice and guidance to union members through the auspices of union learning representatives (ULRs).

Dr Marr said: “The Open University and unionlearn enjoy a long-standing collaboration, which is based on a shared belief in the transformative power of lifelong and workplace learning. Both organisations are passionate about extending educational opportunities to adult learners, including through vocational progression to higher level learning and alternative and flexible routes into Higher Education.”

“Our renewed Memorandum of Understanding celebrates our commitment to developing and enhancing joint activity to encourage and inspire adult learners, supporting their personal development and helping them to improve their career prospects.”

Kevin Rowan said: “Access to affordable, high quality learning opportunities is a key factor for people wanting to get on at work and in life. Unionlearn has been working with the Open University for a number of years, proving beneficial for both sides.” 

“We are very happy to sign this refreshed MoU at the unionlearn Annual Conference to continue our commitment to working together and building on ways to support working people progress into higher learning.”

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