The Open University

The Open University

The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK7 6AA
0300 303 5303
Vice Chancellor
Peter Horrocks CBE

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has around 200,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

The OU is rated in the top ten of UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, since the survey began in 2005. In 2013/14 it had a 91% satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

The Open University has been in partnership with the BBC for well over 40 years and co-produces around 30 peak time TV and radio series a year, such as Life Story, Secret Life of Books, Cyber Crimes, Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, Child of Our Time, The Bottom Line and Inside the Commons.  Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes over 800 free courses on OpenLearn, which receives 4.5 million visitors a year, and materials on YouTube, Bibblio, AudioBoom and iTunes U, which has recorded over 69 million downloads. For further information please visit:

Recent news from The Open University

11 October: Why asking what causes autism is the wrong question
We need to stop playing the blame game.

9 October: Five vital things you can't do properly when you're on your phone
Beware unicycling clowns ...

4 October: It's time to modernise the UK's road rules – but adding offences for cyclists is no place to start
How a curious case of wanton and furious driving is leading to a much-needed overhaul.

3 October: Private companies are launching a new space race – here's what to expect
Private companies are increasingly challenging national space agencies in a new space race, which comes with great opportunities but also huge risks.

29 September: How a new orbital moon station could take us to Mars and beyond
International plan for a lunar space station may lag behind efforts by private companies.

Recent tweets from @OpenUniversity