You're viewing an archived version of this project. Please visit the new Big Give site to find current fundraising campaigns.

Project information

Disabled Veterans' Scholarships Fund

The Open University's Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund - the first of its kind in the UK - will ensure that, if disability means veterans can no longer serve, they are empowered to rewrite their own futures through education.

The project currently aims to fund a further 46 scholarships.

Charity information: The Open University

The Open University logo
  • Need


    1 in 5 veterans suffer from physical and mental disabilities sustained during service. Disability amongst veterans is unsurprisingly higher than the non-veteran population. It is estimated that 24% of veterans will suffer an illness or disability that limits their physical activity, compared to just 13% of the non-veteran population. Unlike colleagues who make plans for retirement, their unexpected discharge from service life leaves them unprepared for a new life outside of the military.


    The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund, the first of its kind in the UK, will ensure that, if disability means veterans can no longer serve, they are empowered to rewrite their own futures. The Fund will provide veterans with the opportunity to study for free, with specialist support for disabilities, allowing them to develop their skills, knowledge and experience. The first 54 students started studying with the OU in October. With your help we can give another 46 the same opportunity.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To raise £10,000 from The Big Give to allow a disabled veteran to begin their life-changing journey.


    » Through the generous support of alumni and friends of The Open University.

    What success will look like

    By successfully reaching our goal and promoting the fantastic opportunity the Fund can provide for disabled veterans.

    Aim 2

    To reach our overall target of £2.5m to support 100 undergraduate full fee-waiver scholarships.


    » We will provide financial support and a wraparound disability and careers support service to disabled veterans to access education.

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated through delivering 100 undergraduate scholarships to disabled veterans.

  • Impact


    The long term change will be to provide disabled veterans with the opportunity to start the next chapter of their lives after leaving military service.

    Disabled veterans will fulfill their considerable
    potential. Having thrived inside an environment that fosters excellence, we must extend those same opportunities once these individuals
    are removed from the Services, empowering them to become valuable contributors to UK PLC; filling critical skills gaps across our country.


    There is a risk that demand for financial support from the Disabled Veterans' Scholarship Fund will exceed the amount available. To manage this risk, the OU will implement a process that ensures fair disbursal of funds.


    Donors will be reported to through the Open Door donor magazine, impact reports, the OpenMinds alumni magazine and on the giving website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,000 Fee waiver Will cover the tuition fees for half of an undergraduate degree for a disabled veteran.
      £1,000 Disability support Will pay for any specialist equipment and support required for the students’ additional needs.
  • Background


    The UK part-time learning market has faced unprecedented challenges due to changes in higher education funding. Many people who wish to study at higher education level will face increased fees and, therefore, may have fewer opportunities. The Disabled Veterans' Scholarship Fund will provide distance learning opportunities to individuals who need to develop their knowledge and skills to harness their potential.


    The University is particularly adept in supporting
    students through skills and professional development, often whilst in employment.

    Based on our experience; as a member of the Armed Forces Covenant; as part of our social mobility and social justice mission; and in alignment with our focus on employability and skills development, the University has decided to support this community to build on their skills,
    employability and potential as much as building on self confidence and wellbeing.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Open University is the world’s leading
    distance learning provider, underpinned by a mission to make education open for all. It promotes educational opportunity and social mobility by providing high-quality education to all who wish to realise their ambitions.

    We are the largest academic institution in the UK with over 174,000 students, including 2,000 servicemen and women from the UK Armed Forces and a global learning community of over 12 million.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Howard Clark

    Howard Clark is Project Manager for tuition delivery for the Disabled Veterans' Scholarship Fund.

I can honestly say that without my OU qualification, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I was what you might describe as a ‘typical’ soldier, but studying with the OU has changed me as a person. There’s a lot of respect out there for an OU degree, which helps career wise.

Michael Trott, Veteran & OU Alumnus