Open University Celebrates Forty Years

The Open University is marking four decades of educating people far and wide, young and old with a series of events being held throughout the country over the Summer.  The Open University is the only British University dedicated to providing educational courses to students via distance learning.  The concept of the University is that you can study the courses, whether degree, post graduate or other on a part-time basis, perhaps whilst working or taking a career break.

Founded in the late 1960’s, the Open University was the world’s first successful distance teaching university and part of a vision by the UK Government to provide “Open Doors” to all members of the community in terms of education provision.  It now provides distance learning courses to many thousands of people, many of them overseas.

Established in the ‘White Heat of Technology’ era, the Open University was founded on the belief that communications technology could bring high quality degree-level learning to people who had not had the opportunity to attend campus universities.

A number of our staff and team members have studied with the Open University, everything from business qualifications to brushing up on geology.  The courses are very well written, up to date and extremely enjoyable.  We would recommend the Open University to anyone considering doing some part-time study.  Many thousands of people now study on a huge range of courses offered by the University.  In our experience as teachers, the courses offered are second to none but it is interesting to recall the opposition to a “University of the Air”, as the OU was called when it was first launched.

The Open University was the first institution to break the insidious link between exclusivity and excellence.  It is a University founded on an ideal and, like all revolutionary ideas, attracted hostility and criticism.

In 1969, when the idea of The Open University was announced, it was described as “blithering nonsense” by Iain Macleod MP.  More than three decades on, The Open University has managed to convince sceptics that academic excellence need not be compromised by openness, indeed some of the degrees and courses offered are extremely well regarded in the academic world.

To learn more about the Open University and the courses that it offers: The Open University

Happy 40th Birthday to the Open University.

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