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Guide to the course

Guide to the course
JEROME DE-HENAU: Welcome to this exciting course on the thorny issue of inequalities in personal finance. I’m Doctor Jerome De-Henau, a Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University and one of your educators and guides through this course.
JONQUIL LOWE: And I’m Jonquil Lowe, Lecturer in Personal Finance at The Open University. I’m also an educator and guide on the course.
JEROME DE-HENAU: Over the next four weeks you’ll tackle some big questions such as why inequalities matter and how inequalities differ across countries and between groups or generations and you’ll consider the impact inequalities have on our society.
JONQUIL LOWE: In week two you’ll think about pensions and examine whether younger people are exposed to more risks and higher costs than their parents and grandparents were. In week three you’ll investigate access to housing and why it’s an ever-growing challenge for younger generations. We’ll think about the issue in a global context and ask whether it’s the same in other countries.
JEROME DE-HENAU: In week four we’ll bring all these issues together and look at some of the solutions being discussed, proposed and implemented around the world. So with so much to cover let’s get going.

Dr Jerome De Henau and Jonquil Lowe are your joint educators on the course. Dr Jerome De Henau is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University. Jonquil Lowe is a Lecturer in Personal Finance at The Open University. The academic team also includes Dr George Callaghan. You will hear more from them as the course progresses.

How do you study?

The Open University would love to know what you think of the course and how you plan to use it. We’re really interested in hearing from you whether you plan to study every week, take part actively in discussions or prefer to sit back and watch how they unfold. Your feedback is anonymous but will have massive value to us in improving what we deliver.

Introduction to FutureLearn

Here’s a run-down of features that have been developed to help you study this course. The course is designed to run on desktops, tablets and mobile devices; however, some of the material is quite detailed and using a larger screen will enhance your experience. Materials are usually best viewed running the most up-to-date software available for your device and using the most recent version of the web browser.

If this is the first FutureLearn course you have studied, you might find it useful to visit the Using Futurelearn page.

The downloads section

From time-to-time you’ll see downloadable PDFs or Word documents at the bottom of a page, such as transcripts and data tables.

In ‘See also’

Where appropriate we’ve provided ‘See also’ links to related materials on the web, offering you the chance to explore a topic in more depth.


You’ll notice that some images have a small expand icon in the bottom right-hand corner. When you select this icon, you’ll be taken to a much larger version of the image, for a closer look.

Tests and quizzes

To test your knowledge we’ve provided end-of-week quizzes and an end-of-course test. Quizzes are dotted throughout the weeks’ content and also at the end of the week. They are included purely to help you learn. If you’ve upgraded, you’ll see the test at the end of Week 4. This will help you to check what you’ve learned and will be your final mark.

Comments and discussions

There are plenty of opportunities to debate with other learners. You’ll be able to make comments at any point in the course – just click on the pink plus symbol (+) to open the comments area. You’ll also notice discussion points, which offer a more structured dialogue with your fellow learners on key topics. Please join in! Why not introduce yourself now by posting a comment below?

Please make use of the ‘like’ feature within comments and discussions, if you see a comment you like or a question that you want to ask too. This will assist the mentors in answering as many of your questions as possible, and the posts with the most ‘likes’ are more likely to receive a response.

The comments sections can be a little overwhelming if there are lots of responses, so please don’t feel you have to read all of them! We recommend reading the first page of most recent comments and then the first page of ‘most liked’ comments – this will help you keep up-to-date with the newest and hottest comments in the course.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests: Ensure you’ve mastered the material with access to tests on the course.

A Certificate of Achievement or Statement of Participation: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

Find out more

You can view the profile pages of your fellow learners, and ‘follow’ them to keep track of their comments. We recommend that you follow the lead educators, Jerome De Henau and Jonquil Lowe.

Many people hold passionate views about inequality and it is easy to get carried away in the heat of debate. However, we would ask you always to remain polite and respect the views of fellow learners. If you have second thoughts after posting, you can use the ‘Edit’ button to revise your own comments. If a comment breaks FutureLearn’s code of conduct, you can use the icon at the bottom right of the comment to report it to FutureLearn.

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Challenging Wealth and Income Inequality

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