'The Open University' celebrates 40 years of graduations

Thu.20.Jun.2013 UTC

It has been a British institution since it was introduced more than four decades ago, and has helped more than one and a half million people broaden their horizons by opening access to higher education. This weekend The Open University is celebrating 40 years since its first ever degree ceremony.

The OU has given people  the opportunity to study that has helped them  develop their careers, change careers or simply realise their dreams of getting a degree that they never thought possible.

Around 1.8 million people have studied with The Open University and students include entertainers Joe Pasquale, Ian Rankin, Lenny Henry, Matthew Kelly and Joan Armatrading, politicians John Reid and Paul Marsden and children’s writer Elizabeth Arnold.

From its beginnings on late night BBC, The Open University remains at the forefront of innovation, now using a wide range of technology for teaching and producing materials for iTunes U which has had over 33 million downloads to date. In addition, every month, over 400,000 people use OpenLearn, the OU’s free learning website which has received over 28 million visitors since it started in 2006.

More than 70% of students work while studying, and because of its flexibility, convenience, affordability and the fact it is open to all, the OU continues to be an integral part of higher education in the UK. Watch the evolution of this great British institution and explore what the future of The Open University in this video…