The latest figures published by the Open University (OU) show that 37% of their 210 students who live in Cunninghame North are from the 0-20% most deprived backgrounds in the constituency and 52% are from the most deprived 40%.
71% of local OU are in employment and 56 declared a disability (27%) and 70%, are female.
The most popular subjects by far (39%) come under the banner of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, otherwise known as STEM-subjects.
Furthermore, 40 pupils from Ardrossan Academy, Largs Academy and St Matthew’s Academy participated in the OU Young Applicants in School Scheme (YASS). This programme, which receives support from the Scottish Funding Council and Menzies Distribution, allows the OU to offer fully-funded places for S6 pupils from local authority schools undertaking 10 and 30 credit modules.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“The Open University is not only an excellent educational resource; it is widely known for its accessibility and inclusivity.
“This is reaffirmed by the fact that out of the 5 quintiles of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMS), twice as many OU students in Cunninghame North (37%) come from the most deprived 20% of communities as from any other.
“Thanks to the SNP Government, the two-thirds of OU students who are on an income of less than £25,000 per year, are able to receive a part-time fee grant. This can only make a positive difference to their education and, hopefully, their lives and careers.
“Thanks to the OU and this model of support, many people in Cunninghame North are now studying whereas deprivation, disability or lack of time may have otherwise prevented them from taking up studies.
“I hope anyone in Cunninghame North who wishes to study but thinks they may not be able to, will feel encouraged by these figures to consider the OU.”
For more information, visit the Open University website.