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To: Vice Chancellor Peter Horrocks

Save Open University regional centres and student support services

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Campaign created by
Alexandra Denning
Save Open University regional centres and student support services

Please don't close vital academic and student services in seven English regional centres

Why is this important?

On 14th September the Vice Chancellor and Student Services Director at the Open University announced plans to close seven English regional centres in Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Gateshead and London. They claim this is with the aim of putting students first and giving them a better support services experience.

500 highly qualified, experienced and dedicated staff members stand to lose their jobs or face having to compete to retain their posts at another location with all the disruption this causes.

Worst of all is that their academic and student support expertise would be lost. The Open University has already closed one regional centre and transferred student services from a regional to a faculty based model. This already means that students who once could have all their support needs met in one team might now have to contact as many as four separate teams for this. Increasing reliance on online resources also leaves students floundering when they could previously speak to a student support expert as a first resort. The plans to close offices and jettison staff teams with as much as 190 years of academic and student support experience among them, for new, inexperienced staff working in call centre conditions are only likely to further reduce the quality of service students can expect

United Kingdom

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Reasons for signing

  • I have disabilities and don't use the phone and used to have same person phoning on my behalf whenever I had anything urgent to the Regional Centre (tutor currently away). The named person I had used for years call got refused by the call centre staff. So, I am left with no help as emails take up to 10 days/or no reply in my experience. This is a huge decline in service. I do wish the OU would view students as customers/consumers, who are spending thousands and deserve a better service.
  • The minds behind this obviously missed out on being educated themselves - maybe jealousy is at play here! Students require support - who wants to spend hours hanging on a centralised call centre
  • OU study has been important to me. While I didn't have much contact with my regional centre, take a look at other's testimonials - this matters. Even with this model, getting disability support is tough (for so many reasons). Let's not make it worse?


2015-10-16 07:55:37 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-10-15 16:07:42 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-10-15 15:29:40 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-10-15 14:29:23 +0100

10 signatures reached