Open University – Closed to Cubans

End the OU ban on Cuban students

One of Britain’s biggest educational institutions, The Open University, has a policy that bans Cuban students from studying there. The OU is citing US blockade laws as its justification. This discriminatory policy is unethical, not to mention illegal under UK equalities legislation, and CSC has launched a campaign to challenge it.

Write to the Open University

Subject: Please end your discriminatory admissions policy against Cuban students

Peter Horrocks CBE,
Open University

Dear Peter Horrocks CBE

Please end your discriminatory admissions policy against Cuban students

I am writing to ask the Open University to end its policy of barring applications from Cuban students which I believe to be discriminatory and illegal.

I am aware that the OU recently rejected a Cuban student’s application on the grounds that this may put staff at risk from fines under the United States Treasury Department’s extraterritorial blockade legislation.

According to the UK’s 2010 Equality Act it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their nationality. The Open University’s justification for its action also appears to place US law over and above UK law. This is also illegal under the 1996 Protection of Trading Interests Act which states that UK-based companies or individuals can be fined for complying with extraterritorial US legislation such as this.

I urge you to revise your policy and would be grateful if you can reply to confirm in writing that the OU’s discriminatory policy against Cuban students has been revised.

Yours sincerely

Your Name

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