Address: PO Box 197, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BJ
Telephone: 0845 300 60 90
Vice Chancellor: Mr Martin Bean
Since 1969, The Open University has taught more than 1,550,000 students by adopting state-of-the-art technology to ensure that neither distance nor academic background is a barrier to learning. The Open University is the UK’s largest university, teaching 35% of all part-time undergraduates in UK universities each year. It has more than 250,000 current students, including 20,000 international students. The median age of new undergraduate students is 32, and 41% of these have just 1 A level or less at the point they join.
The OU is consistently ranked one of the top two universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey. In 2009, it came top, with 94% of students saying they were satisfied overall with the quality of their course. The OU is also ranked in the top 400 universities in the world for research, according to the Shanghai Jao Tong University World Rankings. In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), the University climbed 23 places to 43rd, securing a place in the UK’s top 50 higher education institutions. The OU was the second largest climber in the top 50, with over 50% of the university’s research judged to be ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) and 14% ‘world-leading’ (4*).
External funding for the university’s research and enterprise activities increases year on year and has grown to well over £20 million. Through the OU’s long-standing partnership with the BBC and now with iTunes U, the intellectual capital from its educational materials and research is shared with a truly global audience. The free audio visual educational content that is available on the iTunes U website saw its 16.5 millionth download in March 2010, rising at an average of a million every three weeks. The OU has also set up the HEFCE-funded project Shared Solutions. This helps educators make the most of open educational resources, provides advice to students who have left studies early, and explores how HE institutions can collaborate to tackle shared problems.
Another open educational resource is the OpenLearn website, which gives free access to study units from OU courses. The site has had more than 8.5 million unique visitors, as at the end of March 2010. Widening participation in higher education is at the core of the OU’s mission, which was recognised when the University was awarded the 2009 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work training teachers in Africa.
Recent news from Open University
16 May: Funding for OU project to support young people being scientists
The Open University's nQuire project is one of eleven technology ventures that will share funding of over £1million from the Nominet Trust. nQuire will develop new tools to enable young …
16 May: OU Business School alumnus scoops prestigious business award
The Open University Business School is extending its congratulations to one of its Alumni, Chris Lima, Managing Director of Simon Hegele Logistics, who has won the Institute of Directors regional …
7 May: Feynman: His life and the Challenger conspiracy
Broadcast: 12 May, 8pm on BBC 2 The life and work of iconic US physicist Dr Richard Feynman will be portrayed in both a factual drama and documentary, produced by The Open University in …
2 May: OU Law students win a second national mooting tournament in a month
Open University (OU) law students Catherine Flint and Dr Fathi Tarada won the prestigious ICLR (The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales) National Mooting Tournament on Monday …
29 April: OU Library Services wins prestigious award for Being digital
The Open University's (OU) Library Services have won the Credo Reference Digital Award for Information Literacy for its Being digital site and accompanying Digital Information Literacy (DIL) …
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