The Open University (OU) was established by Royal Charter on 23 April 1969. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, it is the leading university for flexible, innovative teaching and world-class research in the United Kingdom and in 157 countries worldwide. Uniquely placed to understand the needs of part-time students, the OU’s innovative, award-winning distance teaching programmes have seen over 2 million students receive an education otherwise denied to them at campus-based universities.
The OU teaches through its own unique method of distance learning, called ‘supported open learning’, which is: (1) flexible – students work where and when they choose to fit in with jobs, families and other commitments; (2) All-inclusive – students get all the high quality materials they need to study; (3) Supportive – personal tutors provide academic expertise, guidance and feedback and run group tutorials; (4) Social – students get together at tutorials, day schools and informal study groups and through online conferencing, study networks and course forums.
Open University courses are underpinned by research of international excellence and are subject to rigorous external scrutiny. In addition, a world-leading programme of research into pedagogy and educational technologies ensures that the OU’s teaching materials are at the cutting edge of blended learning.