Learner Support Fund

The OCA’s Learner Support Fund provides additional support for prospective students who can demonstrate commitment and potential - but who face financial or other practical constraints from enrolling in the usual way.

The Scheme is part of the OCA’s charitable purpose and commitment to equality of opportunity. We receive no state funding at all (unlike UK universities, including the Open University) but the Trustees have nevertheless set aside an annual sum to be allocated through the Fund.

Please note that those students who are planning to go on for a full degree may be eligible for government support through Student Finance, see the separate section on Fees, Loans and Grants for this. The Bursary Committee would expect students to go down this route first, before applying for an OCA Bursary.

Is everyone eligible to apply?

The scheme is open to everyone who feels they have a case e.g. through a disability or financial hardship.

How does the OCA decide who to give Bursaries to?

When your completed form is received, the scheme administrator will review it to check there is nothing missing. She may contact you at this point to advise you to rectify any gaps. Please don’t interpret this as a signal that, if you supply the missing item(s) you will be successful: the administrator will simply be doing her job in trying to ensure the Committee has a complete picture when it comes to making their decision.

The Bursary Committee is chaired by a director and includes other senior managers.

How do I apply for a Bursary?

Please complete the Bursary Scheme application form. This is printed at the end of the guidance booklet which is downloadable from here: Learner Support Scheme booklet

If you need an additional printed copy, please ring the Academic Services team on 0800 731 2116.

Other than Bursaries, does the Learner Support Scheme provide any other types of support?

There are three other types of support available through the Learner Support Scheme:

  • Help with attending OCA workshops and exhibitions for those with disabilities and/or financial hardship
  • Help with the costs of posting and packaging exceptional items for those in financial hardship
  • Help with providing arts consumables for students in custodial institutions