Association of Open University Graduates

Zena Barker - Winner of the AOUG Foundation for Education 2000 Bursary

On Friday 27th October 2000 at Walton Hall, Elizabeth McMillan, Chairman of AOUG, presented Zena Barker with the Year 2000 AOUG Bursary Award.

For several years previously, AOUG had given financial awards to post-graduates of the Open University but this was the first time a Bursary had been awarded.

The criteria for the Bursary was that the recipient must be an OU graduate and that the Bursary of £2,000 would be used for post graduate study leading to a higher degree at the OU.
Zena was selected from several excellent applicants. The Officers of the Association were particularly impressed with her enthusiasm for her subject but also for her ability and desire to study whilst juggling two jobs, as a single parent and all the other obstacles OU students are so good at negotiating.

Work life has changed dramatically for Zena since taking up her studies with the OU. From such employment as child minding, office work and supermarket check out, Zena now worked for the prison service with long term offenders.

The Bursary award has not gone unnoticed by her Governor and it was hoped that promotion would not be long coming. Zena has written a presentation pack, "Prison, me, No Way" which she presents to Year 9 pupils at local schools in Yorkshire.

Zena was set to do her Masters in Social Studies and criminology. Her subject being, "Why long term offenders re-offend and to find better ways of rehabilitating them." Her research would involve looking at a Canadian programme that has a 39% success rate in stopping re-offending, especially amongst sex offenders.. She hoped later to become a tutor on a British programme run along similar lines.