It is deeply worrying that the Open University is reportedly barring applications from Cuban students and it is paramount that the UK Government look into this matter further. There is no justification for not accepting Cuban students on a course, and any move to stop anyone would be directly at odds with current UK Government policy on cooperating with Cuba on higher education issues.
The Equality Act makes it unlawful for universities to discriminate against students based on nationality when deciding who to offer admission to. This case raises serious concerns that the Open University may be in breach of the Act. I therefore welcome the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s decision to initiate an investigation into the matter.
Rest assured, that I and my SNP colleagues will be taking a keen interest in this matter going forward and will be pressing on the UK Government to take appropriate action to act on any recommendations from the EHRC.