Open University to redeem Tesco loyalty vouchers
A new partnership between The Open University (OU) and UK-based supermarket chain Tesco means that members of Tesco's Clubcard loyalty programme will now be able to pay for all or part of an OU course using Clubcard vouchers.
The OU is the first university to add the Clubcard scheme to its marketing activities, and Tesco Clubcard holders will now be encouraged to consider study through the OU by exchanging their Clubcard vouchers in full or part-payment toward educational courses.
Aiming for wider education "This is an example of the University's work to ensure it is as flexible as it can be in offering ways to fund study," explained Professor Brenda Gourley, the University's Vice-Chancellor. "This is an innovative partnership that is true to the University's founding mission: to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. The partnership allows the University to extend our reach to new students, who have the opportunity to gain access to our courses without incurring debt."
Earning and burning Tesco Clubcard members can swap vouchers for Clubcard Deals and receive up to four times their value, so for every £10 worth of Clubcard vouchers shoppers can generate up to £40 toward the OU course of their choice.
According to Nick McCormack, head of partnerships at Tesco Freetime, "We're delighted to be working with the OU to offer customers the opportunity to put vouchers toward higher education. The programme provides a great opening for customers to achieve some valuable qualifications by studying at home at their own pace without having to give up their day job."
Other study funding plans The Clubcard partnership is one of several projects to help OU students meet the costs of study. Student budget accounts allow for the monthly payment of course fees and - depending on the level of household income - financial help may also be available. In 2005/06, some 20,000 OU students received financial help to meet the costs of studying, including help to pay course fees and to meet study expenses, such as the purchase of a computer or childcare.