The Open University

The Open University

The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK7 6AA
0300 303 5303
Vice Chancellor
Professor Mary Kellett

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

18 April: The legal profession has a mental health problem – which is an issue for everyone
As a society, we often don’t think about how legal professionals might be affected by the work that they do.

13 April: Beresheet: first privately-funded mission crashes on moon, but its significance is huge
Israel's first moon mission failed to land successfully on the moon's surface.

1 April: Methane on Mars: a new discovery or just a lot of hot air?
For the first time, an instrument orbiting Mars and a rover on the surface have detected methane simultaneously – raising hopes for finding life on the red planet.

18 March: Indian summer monsoon amplified global warming 130,000 years ago, helping end ice age
The Indian summer monsoon rainfall affects the lives of over a billion people. By looking at how prehistoric climate changes affected it, scientists can contribute to its future prediction.

14 March: Imperfect and absurd, the modern literary heroine is a woman of our times
Here’s to the good/bad women leading the world of fiction.

Recent tweets from @OpenUniversity