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For over 50 years, The Open University in Scotland has helped people across Scotland to develop their knowledge, acquire new skills and achieve life-changing qualifications wherever they live. Our supported, personalised distance learning model is a proven way of delivering at a national level yet sustaining local needs; 85% of our graduates remain in the location where their study was undertaken, retaining their talent and skills in those, often rural and remote, communities.

‘Making a good living’ is the theme for this year’s Forum. For that to be true then learning through life should be a reality for all and not an unattainable concept for some. We need to recognise that people enter higher education at different stages of their lives and that they balance work with study, caring responsibilities, or other commitments.

A flexible higher education system supporting skills development will ensure that all of Scotland’s citizens can play a valued and valuable part in Scotland’s recovery. More agile higher education provision, open to people at all stages of life, delivered flexibly and with shorter courses and modules focused on the skills we need are an essential component of this.

The Open University in Scotland has a track record of working in partnership to offer skills-based support to people across Scotland. In that spirit we look forward to working together with SCDI members to make lifelong learning a reality for all.