Award-winning Open Book

We’re delighted to announce that one of our partners, Open Book, has won the Guardian’s Student Diversity and Widening Participation Award.

Lankelly Chase has been working with the team at Open Book over the last year to expand the model they have been using at Goldsmiths College since 2004 to another site in Chatham, Kent, which is being done in partnership with the University of Greenwich.

The project itself introduces disadvantaged people to education. This begins with informal drop-in classes in subjects that require no prior learning and then, over time, enables people to discover their intellectual and creative potential and put these skills into practice in formal qualifications, including undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

During the twelve-year partnership with Goldsmiths College, Open Book has worked with over 1,000 people to turn their lives around and attain degrees from several higher education institutions across London and Kent.

Their goal is to make higher education across the UK truly equal for all, with access open for the wider population who currently – for institutional, structural and cultural reasons – would not otherwise consider higher education as an option. This includes many people living with severe and multiple disadvantage.

We’re pleased to have recently renewed our partnership with Open Book for a further year and we’re looking forward to working with the team to consolidate their work in Chatham and to plan how to get their model into other higher educational institutions across the UK. A key part of this will be to develop their Year Zero Degree course, which will act as an entry qualification into universities, and it’s great to hear that Goldsmiths has recently employed an academic to work with the Open Book team specifically to develop this.

Lankelly Chase is looking forward to being part of the work as it continues, and we’d like to extend our congratulations to the whole team for winning this thoroughly deserved recognition for their work.