The Open University
The Open University is Britain's largest university with more than 200,000 people studying its courses. The first students were admitted in 1971. 27% of all part-time higher education students in the UK study at the OU.
The University is ranked amongst the top UK universities for the quality of its teaching. Of the 23 subjects assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency, 17 have been placed in the top 'Excellent' category.
Courses are available throughout Europe and, usually by means of partnership agreements with other institutions, in many other parts of the world.
The OU's undergraduate level courses do not require any entry qualifications. Over a third of people starting these courses have qualifications below conventional university entry requirements. Around 70% of OU students successfully complete their courses each year.
OU courses are considered to be among the world's best distance education materials and are recognised for their innovation.
The OU established five new interdisciplinary Centres of Research Excellence during 2003/04 in: Citizenship, Identities and Governance; Comparative Criminological Research; Computing; Education and Educational Testing; and Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research. The OU's Geography Department is also a Centre of Excellence.
In January 2005, the Open University was one of only two universities in England to have been awarded the leadership of four Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The centres receive funding of £12m over a five-year period.
The success of the University is due to our outstanding staff. We are committed to the development of our staff through lifelong training and development opportunities.