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

30 January: Why Glasgow's 'Bolshevist Uprising' in 1919 wasn't quite the red threat to UK many believed
This was no high watermark of British communism; just a key milestone in the struggle for better working conditions.

25 January: Imagining a Davos for the many that was actually serious about climate change
The World Economic Forum in Davos must change its ethos from 'idea sharing' to one of democratic accountability and justice.

21 January: Millennial burnout: building resilience is no answer – we need to overhaul how we work
Building resilience is not the way to tackle burnout.

14 January: Eurozone is recovery resistant but it could also be recession-proof
As fears of a US-China trade war grow, the eurozone is starting to look like a rock.

10 January: Why it's time to rip up the political playbook and imagine a truly new global order
Required is a new fantasy which combines a global perspective with a radical desire for change.

Recent tweets from @OpenUniversity