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UCU welcomes end of Open University's Cuban student ban

10 November 2017

CU has welcomed the news that the Open University has reversed its policy of barring Cuban students from studying at the institution

In the summer UCU wrote to both the vice-chancellor of the Open University and universities minister Jo Johnson calling for the ban to be overturned.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'We are pleased that the Open University has reversed its policy on banning Cuban students. However, we believe that the government's own advice made it clear that the university should have been making greater efforts made to improve relations between universities here and in Cuba.'

The university said the policy was justified on the basis of concerns about repercussions from the United States. However, as UCU pointed out in its letter to Peter Horrocks, that put it directly at odds with the government's position on Cuba.

The 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom and Cuba says there should be improvements in the links between universities in the two countries.