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Open University - YASS

OU celebrates ten years of higher education in the classroom

The Open University’s Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS), which enables S6 pupils to study at university level in the familiar surroundings of their own school, is ten years old. Having started as a pilot programme with 30 pupils in ten Highland schools in 2007, YASS has since reached more than 6,500 pupils from over 250 schools in every part of Scotland.


YASS, which has almost 1,200 pupils from 142 schools participating this year, is Scotland’s largest and only national bridging programme between school and university. Thirty courses, from law to Mandarin, are offered flexibly online to students with the support of both the University and their school.


This helps schools, including Falkirk high School, to offer a wider range of subjects to pupils and gives pupils the opportunity to try out study at university level, building confidence and developing aspirations. Any pupils in moving into S6 that would like more information on the YASS scheme and how to apply for one of the courses should see Mrs Whittington (Depute HT).


K Whittington (Depute HT)

“The OU courses allow our young people to study a subject not offered within our senior phase curriculum that is relevant to their chosen destination. The fundamental skills required to study an OU course like working independently, digital literacy and research skills provide an ideal stepping stone for our young people that are looking to move onto University. As a result of accessing an OU course they have a more successful transition into Further Education”


Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said:

“Widening access to higher education is central to everything The Open University does, and YASS means that pupils who may not have any experience of higher education in their family can try it out, allowing them to prove to themselves that, yes, they can study at that level.

“Accessible higher education is critical to Scotland’s social and economic wellbeing and YASS offers a nationwide route, from Shetland to Selkirk, for pupils to test their ambitions and improve their chances of progression to university.”