Sarah Brown to receive honorary degree

Sarah Brown is set to receive an honorary degree from the Open University (OU) in Scotland.  Picture; PA
Sarah Brown is set to receive an honorary degree from the Open University (OU) in Scotland. Picture; PA
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Global health and education campaigner Sarah Brown is set to receive an honorary degree from the Open University (OU) in Scotland.

The wife of former prime minister Gordon Brown will be recognised for her public service in a degree ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall today.

Mrs Brown, who will be named a doctor of the university, said she is “delighted” to receive the honorary degree, although she said she felt “guilty” given the efforts graduates go to fitting their studies around work and family.

She added: “I am surrounded by family, friends and countless acquaintances who have benefited from the flexibility and quality of learning that comes with studying for an Open University degree.

“It was a genius idea in the first place, but over the years has developed and flourished as quickly as technology has moved forwards – it is almost as though the internet was invented just so that the Open University could reach its full potential.”

The Open University has an open admission policy, with 20 per cent of OU undergraduates in Scotland not having the standard university entrance-level qualifications.

It makes honorary awards in line with its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas and the promotion of social justice through the development of knowledge and skills.

The award was conferred alongside 560 graduating students and fellow honorary graduates, including broadcaster and author Sally Magnusson.

Susan Stewart, director of the Open University in Scotland, said: “Our inspirational students work incredibly hard to fit learning into their lives, proving that part-time higher education makes a meaningful difference to individuals, families and communities.

“The exceptional calibre of honorary graduates at this ceremony shows how highly our students, and the many colleagues who teach and support them, are regarded. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to welcome them to the Open University family.”