The cash-strapped Open University is tackling Government funding cuts with a unique approach to alumnus relations. Cutbacks at the OU's regional centres, a string of redundancies and a reduction in face-to-face teaching are apparently not enough to counter the cash-flow problems posed by HEFCE's tightening purse-strings. Instead, it is now targetting those for whom even lifelong learning has ceased to be an option.
A sombre leaflet, less glossy than the OU's usual publicity material, has already been discreetly mailed out to OU graduates, urging them to "remember us in your will". Kitty Chisholm, director of the OU development fund, has already recruited a new member of staff to help develop the money-spinning scheme, aptly paid for by Pounds 50,000 left to the OU by former lecturer Roy Wormald.