From education to employment

Uber now offers drivers higher education courses with Open University

Uber has partnered with the Open University to offer drivers higher education courses. Drivers will be able to access over 900 different Open University courses, ranging from business management to astrophysics, law and education studies. 

This partnership is part of Uber Pro, a new tiered loyalty programme based on factors including the number of trips completed and ratings given to drivers by riders. 

Drivers take tremendous pride in the service they provide, moving people from A to B up and down the country. Drivers have told Uber that more could be done to recognise and reward their commitment to quality service to their riders – and help them achieve their goals on and off the road.

Drivers can unlock rewards including two free MOTs, 24/7 roadside assistance and a discounted car maintenance allowance all provided by the AA. A discounted gym membership with Gympass is also available.

Announcing the launch of Uber Pro in the UK, Melinda Roylett, UKI General Manager, said: 

“We want to do more to help drivers and their families build towards their future. I am thrilled to be partnering with the Open University, to offer drivers or their nominated family member the ability to complete an undergraduate degree-level qualification.”

Drivers on the Uber platform have also welcomed the arrival of Uber Pro in the UK

Olu Soretire, licensed private hire driver in London said: 

“When I heard about Uber Pro and the partnership with Open University, I was over the moon. I am an IT professional and I have been wanting to complete a certificate for a long time. I cannot wait for it to start up, and I really do think that I will benefit from this. This will help a lot of drivers and their families, and I am so excited.”

Immelda Aaron, licensed private hire driver in London said: 

“This is going to be groundbreaking for people who are going to benefit because there are people who have never had such an opportunity to study for a degree, and the fact that it is free is amazing. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

David Willett, Commercial Director for The Open University, said: 

“For fifty years, The Open University has led the way in widening access to education by being open and innovative. We are excited by this opportunity to work with Uber and support their drivers and families with flexible ways to learn that fit around their lives. Our approach to lifelong learning is helping to upskill and reskill the UK workforce as working patterns change, and more than three-quarters of our students are now studying and working.”

Uber will also be expanding its partnership with AXA XL to include vehicle interruption insurance, where a lump sum payment is made to drivers if their vehicle is damaged and they are unable to earn money. This insurance is in addition to AXA’s Partner Protection, which provides all drivers with compensation for injuries and sickness, and one-off maternity/paternity payments.

Drivers will also be given airport pickups faster, which are some of the most valuable trips, and will have access to an extra Destinations feature, which allows drivers to only receive trip requests going in the direction they want. 

Uber Pro is already available in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil,  Australia, New Zealand, India and France and we plan for it to be fully rolled out across the UK from January 2020. 

How it works 

  • Uber Pro is a tiered customer rewards system with four tiers: Blue, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. All drivers who opt into Uber Pro will automatically receive Blue status. To unlock rewards in the Gold, Platinum or Diamond tiers, drivers need to maintain at least a 4.85 star rating and a low cancellation rate. Drivers earn points on every trip during a fixed 3 month period which go towards unlocking a status. Drivers receive one point per trip, and three points per trip if it is taken during peak hours.
  • Drivers can learn about Uber Pro, see available rewards, and track progress toward their goals directly in the rewards section of the Driver App. Riders will also be able to see a driver’s Uber Pro status in the app when they request a ride.
  • Drivers are not adversely impacted if they don’t take trips or choose to opt out of the programme. This is a customer reward programme designed to enhance the experience of drivers choosing to use the Uber app. 

All rewards and offers referred to are only available to drivers who use the Uber app, are participating in Uber Pro and meet the applicable criteria, and subject to Terms and Conditions. 

The announcement today is the first phased roll-out of Uber Pro. We expect the full roll-out of Uber Pro to be completed by January 2020. 

As part of Uber Pro, eligible drivers will be able to enrol in over 900 diplomas, certificates or undergraduate degrees offered by the Open University. 

Some drivers who use the Uber app who are resident in Scotland may already qualify for free Open University tuition. Even if they qualify for this, all eligible drivers in Scotland will be able to enrol through Uber Pro, as well as be able to pass on the opportunity to an eligible family member.


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