FORMER Servicemen and women disabled during their time in the Forces are being offered free study courtesy of a new fund set up by The Open University.

Under the Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund, ex-personnel disabled in or as a result of military service will receive financial support for their studies as well as wraparound specialist assistance and careers advice.

The Fund, which covers courses of all levels depending on the applicant’s needs, from an introductory access module up to a complete undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, is the first of its kind in the UK dedicated to furthering the education of the men and women who have become disabled due to their time in the Forces.

The Open University’s Vice Chancellor Peter Horrocks said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for The Open University to give something back to those who have made deep personal sacrifices in the service of their country. I hope that through this scheme we can play a part in helping former members of the armed Services reach their full potential through the power of education.”

Up to one in five veterans are discharged due to disabilities and, once they leave military life, their transferable skills can make a huge contribution both socially and economically. Higher education can be a valuable tool in carving a new career path. The Open University has 2,000 active or former Service personnel studying courses.

How to apply

Potential students will need to apply for the Fund by 1 August 2018 to be in with a chance of securing one of the scholarships for the 2018-2019 student intake. There are 100 undergraduate scholarships (or equivalent) worth up to £18,000 each available over the next two years. To be considered, applicants will need to reserve a place on an Open University module before applying to the Fund.

Applicants should note they will need to reserve a place on an Open University module first and then apply for the scholarship any time up to the 1st August 2018. Whilst it is not essential to complete a firm registration at this point, The Open University recommends to all applicants that they should also try to secure funding means if they still intend to study and were not to be successful in the draw. There is however, no obligation on any applicant to complete registration if they’re unsuccessful in the draw.

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