Open University
Overview
 
The Open University is a distance learning
Distance education
Distance education or distance learning is a field of education that focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom...

 and research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 founded by Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in the United Kingdom. The University is funded by a combination of student fees, contract income, and allocations for teaching and research by the higher education funding bodies in each of the four countries of the UK. It is notable for having an open entry policy, i.e. students' previous academic achievements are not taken into account for entry to most undergraduate
Undergraduate education
Undergraduate education is an education level taken prior to gaining a first degree . Hence, in many subjects in many educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a bachelor's degree, such as in the United States, where a university entry level is...

 courses.
Encyclopedia
The Open University is a distance learning
Distance education
Distance education or distance learning is a field of education that focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom...

 and research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 founded by Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in the United Kingdom. The University is funded by a combination of student fees, contract income, and allocations for teaching and research by the higher education funding bodies in each of the four countries of the UK. It is notable for having an open entry policy, i.e. students' previous academic achievements are not taken into account for entry to most undergraduate
Undergraduate education
Undergraduate education is an education level taken prior to gaining a first degree . Hence, in many subjects in many educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a bachelor's degree, such as in the United States, where a university entry level is...

 courses. The majority of the OU's undergraduate students are based in the United Kingdom and principally study off-campus
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

, but many of its courses (both undergraduate and postgraduate
Postgraduate education
Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or Bachelor's degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education...

) can be studied off-campus anywhere in the world. There are a number of full-time postgraduate research students based on the 48 hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 university campus where they use the OU facilities for research, as well as more than 1000 members of academic and research staff and over 2500 administrative, operational and support staff.

The OU was established in 1969 and the first students enrolled in January 1971. The University administration is based at Walton Hall
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes
Walton Hall is a district in Milton Keynes, in the English county of Buckinghamshire, and is the location of the campus and offices of The Open University. The University campus covers 48 hectares and the first buildings were designed by Maxwell Fry & Jane Drew in 1969.It is in the ancient parish...

, Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes , sometimes abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about north-west of London. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes...

 in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

, but has regional centres in each of its thirteen regions around the United Kingdom. It also has offices and regional examination centres in most other European countries. The University awards undergraduate and postgraduate degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

s, as well as non-degree qualifications such as diploma
Diploma
A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma refers to...

s and certificate
Academic certificate
An academic certificate is a document that certifies that a person has received specific education or has passed a test or series of tests.In many countries, certificate is a qualification attained in secondary education. For instance, students in the Republic of Ireland sit the Junior Certificate...

s, or continuing education
Continuing education
Continuing education is an all-encompassing term within a broad spectrum of post-secondary learning activities and programs. The term is used mainly in the United States and Canada...

 units.

With more than 250,000 students enrolled, including around 32,000 aged under 25 and more than 50,000 overseas students, it is the largest academic institution in the United Kingdom and Europe by student number, and qualifies as one of the world's largest universities
World's largest universities
This list of largest universities by enrollment includes total active enrollment across all campuses . Enrollment numbers listed are the sum of undergraduate and graduate students in active enrollment...

. Since it was founded, more than 1.5 million students have studied its courses. It was rated top university in England and Wales for student satisfaction in the 2005 and 2006 United Kingdom government national student satisfaction survey, and second in the 2007 survey. Out of 132 universities and colleges, the OU was ranked 43rd in the Times Higher Education Table of Excellence in 2008, between the University of Reading
University of Reading
The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading.The University has a long tradition...

 and University of the Arts London
University of the Arts London
The University of the Arts London, formerly known as the London Institute, is a collegiate university comprising six internationally recognised art, design, fashion and media colleges in London, England...

. It was ranked overall as a nationally top forty, and globally top five hundred university by the Academic Ranking of World Universities
Academic Ranking of World Universities
The Academic Ranking of World Universities , commonly known as the Shanghai ranking, is a publication that was founded and compiled by the Shanghai Jiaotong University to rank universities globally. The rankings have been conducted since 2003 and updated annually...

in 2011.

The Open University is also one of only three United Kingdom higher education institutions to gain accreditation
Educational accreditation
Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met...

 in the United States of America by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools is a voluntary, peer-based, non-profit association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation...

, an institutional accrediting agency, recognized by the United States Secretary of Education
United States Secretary of Education
The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet, and 16th in line of United States presidential line of succession...

 and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is a United States organization of degree-granting colleges and universities. It identifies its purpose as providing national advocacy for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation in order to certify the quality of higher education...

.

History

The Open University was founded by the then serving Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government under Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

, based on the vision of Michael Young (later Lord Young of Dartington). Planning commenced in 1965 under Minister of State for Education
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
The Secretary of State for Education is the chief minister of the Department for Education in the United Kingdom government. The position was re-established on 12 May 2010, held by Michael Gove....

 Jennie Lee, who set up a planning committee consisting of university vice-chancellors, educationalists and television broadcasters, chaired by Sir Peter Venables. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

) Assistant Director of Engineering at the time James Redmond
James Redmond (broadcaster)
Sir James Redmond was a British engineer. One of the pioneers of modern public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, he spent the greater part of his career with the Engineering Department of the BBC rising all the way through the ranks from vision mixer to Director of Engineering and was...

, had obtained most of his qualifications at night school
Night School
Night School is a school that holds classes in the evening or at night, and is usually intended for continuing and adult learning and to accommodate people who work during the day.Night School may also refer to:...

, and his natural enthusiasm for the project did much to overcome the technical difficulties of using television to broadcast teaching programmes.

Walter Perry
Walter Perry
Walter Laing MacDonald Perry, Baron Perry of Walton FRS FRCP FRSE was a distinguished academic. He was the first Vice Chancellor of the Open University....

 (later Lord Perry) was appointed the OU's first vice-chancellor in January 1969, and its Foundation Secretary was Anastasios Christodoulou
Anastasios Christodoulou
Anastasios 'Chris' Christodoulou CBE was a British based Greek Cypriot university administrator. He was the Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Foundation Secretary of the Open University....

. The election of the new Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 serving government under Prime Minister Edward Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

 in 1970 led to budget cuts under Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 Iain Macleod
Iain Macleod
Iain Norman Macleod was a British Conservative Party politician and government minister.-Early life:...

 (who had earlier called the idea of an Open University "blithering nonsense"). However, the OU accepted its first 25,000 students in 1971, adopting a radical open admissions policy. At the time, the total student population of conventional universities in the United Kingdom was around 130,000.

Aims

The OU provides university education to those wishing to pursue higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 on a part-time and/or distance learning
Distance education
Distance education or distance learning is a field of education that focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom...

 basis, including people with health disabilities, who are officially a priority group for the university, nearly 13,000 OU students have health disabilities. The British Government has also tasked the Open University to continue the work of the Council for National Academic Awards
Council for National Academic Awards
The Council for National Academic Awards was a degree awarding authority in the United Kingdom from 1965 until 1992. The CNAA awarded academic degrees at polytechnics, Central Institutions and other non-university institutions such as Colleges of Higher Education until they were awarded university...

 (CNAA) when it was dissolved. The CNAA formerly awarded degrees at the polytechnics
Polytechnic (United Kingdom)
A polytechnic was a type of tertiary education teaching institution in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. After the passage of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 they became universities which meant they could award their own degrees. The comparable institutions in Scotland were...

 which have since become universities.

Staff

The majority of staff are part-time Associate Lecturers and, as of the 2009–2010 academic year, there are almost 8,000 working for the OU. There are also 1,286 salaried academic employees, 1,931 others who are also academic-related, and 1,902 support staff (including secretaries and technicians). Salaries are the main cost in The Open University's accounts, claiming over £275 million for the 2009–2010 academic year. In 2010 the OU became one of the Sunday Times' Best Places to Work in the Public Sector.

Faculties

The University has Faculties of Arts; Education & Language Studies; Health and Social Care; Law; Mathematics, Computing and Technology; Science; Social Science; and Business and Law. The new Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology (created from the former Faculties of Mathematics and Computing and Faculty of Technology) was formed on 1 October 2007.

Business school

The OU Business School is the largest provider of MBA
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

s in the UK, producing more graduates than all the rest of the business schools in the UK put together. Its MBA has gained triple accreditation
Triple accreditation
Triple Accreditation is the accreditation awarded to 55 business schools worldwide by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations:...

 by AMBA
Association of MBAs
The Association of MBAs is a London-based international organization that accredits postgraduate business programs at business schools worldwide. The Association is one of the three main global accreditation bodies in business education and styles itself "the world's impartial authority on...

, EQUIS
Equis
Equis may refer to:*European Quality Improvement System an international system of assessment and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration run by the European Foundation for Management Development....

 and AACSB.

Although the majority of students at the Business School are in the UK, many of the modules are also available throughout most of the world. Students study via distance learning for a Certificate or Diploma in Management and MBA programmes. A number of modules have a compulsory residential school which students must attend. The faculty also offers Honours and Foundation degrees in Business Studies and Leadership & Management.

The first Diploma modules were developed from 1983; however the School did not become a separate entity until 1988, when development of the first MBA modules was started. The first MBA students were enrolled in 1989, and the School almost immediately became the largest business school in Europe.

Teaching methods

The OU uses a variety of methods for distance learning, including written and audio materials, the Internet, disc-based software and television programmes on DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

. Course-based television broadcasts by the BBC, which started on 3 January 1971, ceased on 15 December 2006. Materials are composed of originally-authored work by in-house and external academic contributors, and from third-party materials licensed for use by OU students. For most modules, students are supported by tutors ("Associate Lecturers") who provide feedback on their work and are generally available to them at face-to-face tutorials, by telephone, and/or on the Internet. A number of short courses worth ten credits are now available that do not have an assigned tutor but offer an online conferencing service (Internet Forum
Internet forum
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

) where help and advice is offered through conferencing "Moderators".

Some modules have mandatory day schools. These are day-long sessions which a student must attend in order to pass the module. One example of such a module is the K301 – Advanced Certificate in Health Promotion – which has two mandatory day schools/workshops, focusing on communication skills, counselling and practical issues, related to health promotion. Nevertheless, it is possible to seek excusal upon the basis of ill-health (or other extenuating circumstances), and many courses have no mandatory face-to-face component.

Similarly, many modules have traditionally offered week long summer schools offering an opportunity for students to remove themselves from the general distractions of their life and focus on their study for a short time.

Over the past ten years the University has adopted a policy of separating residential modules from distance-taught modules. Exemption from attendance at residential schools, always as an Alternative Learning Experience (ALE), is sometimes available for disabled students and others who find it impossible to attend in person (See "Qualifications-Undergraduate" section.)

The OU now produces mainstream television and radio programming aimed at bringing learning to a wider audience. Most of this programming, including series such as Rough Science
Rough Science
Rough Science is a British documentary reality television series made by the BBC in collaboration with the Open University. Six series were made between 2000 and 2005. It was broadcast in prime time on BBC Two and is considered something of a "break-out hit" for the Open University...

and "Battle of the Geeks", are broadcast at peak times, while older programming is carried in the BBC Learning Zone
BBC Learning Zone
The BBC Learning Zone is an educational strand run by the BBC as an overnight service on BBC Two. It shows programming aimed at students in Primary, Secondary and Higher Education and to adult learners...

.
But in 2004 the OU announced it was to stop its late night programmes on BBC2
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

, and the last such programme was broadcast at 5.30am on 16 December 2006.
The OU now plans to focus on mainstream programmes.

Teaching at the OU has been rated as "excellent" by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Established in 1997, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education works to ensure that higher education qualifications in the United Kingdom are of a sound standard. It protects the public interest by checking how universities and colleges maintain their academic standards and quality...

. The English national survey of student satisfaction has twice put the Open University in first place.

In October 2006 the OU joined the Open educational resources
Open educational resources
Open educational resources are digital materials that can be re-used for teaching, learning, research and more, made available for free through open licenses, which allow uses of the materials that would not be easily permitted under copyright alone...

 movement with the launch of OpenLearn
OpenLearn
OpenLearn is the UK Open University's contribution to the Open Educational Resources project. It is part-funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.OpenLearn is a member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium .-History:...

. A growing selection of current and past distance learning course materials will be released for free access, including downloadable versions for educators to modify (under the Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

 BY-NC-SA licence), plus free collaborative learning-support tools.

The OU is researching the use of virtual worlds in teaching and learning, and has two main islands in Second Life
Second Life
Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab. It was launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs, or Viewers, enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars...

. These islands are called Open University island and OUtopia village. They are separated by a third region "OU Ocean." In May 2009 these regions formed the basis of a case study by Linden Lab, the company which owns Second Life.

As of mid 2010, the University led the list of contributing universities in the number of downloads of its material from the educational resources site iTunes U, with downloads of over 20 million

Assessment methods

Open University modules are often assessed using an equal weighting of examinations and coursework. The coursework component normally takes the form of between two and seven tutor marked assignments (TMAs) and, occasionally, may also include up to six multiple-choice or "missing word" 100-question computer marked assignments (CMAs). The examinable component is usually a proctored three-hour paper regardless of the size of the module (although on some modules it can be up to three three-hour papers), but an increasing number of modules instead have an EMA (End of Module Assessment) which is similar to a TMA, in that it is completed at home, but is regarded as an exam for grading purposes.

Modules results are sometimes issued on a graded basis, consisting of pass grades 1 (threshold 85%,a distinction), 2 (70–84%), 3 (55–69%) & 4 (40–54%), and fail (below 40%). This grade is calculated as the lower of the overall continuous assessment score (OCAS) and overall examination score (OES).

These grades can be weighted according to their level, and combined to calculate the classification of a degree. An undergraduate degree will weight level 3 modules twice as much as level 2, and in postgraduate programmes all M level modules are equally weighted.

Undergraduate

Open University modules have associated with them a number of Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme
Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme
Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme is used by many universities in the United Kingdom to monitor, record and reward passage through a modular degree course and to facilitate movement between courses and institutions...

 (CATS) credits – usually 30 or 60 – depending on the quantity of the material in the module and a level (1, 2, 3, or 4) corresponding to the complexity, with 120 points roughly equating to the year of study for a full-time student.

The OU offers a large number of undergraduate qualifications, including certificates, diplomas, and Bachelors degrees, based on both level and quantity of study. An OU undergraduate degree requires 300 (or 360 for honours) CATS credits.

Students generally do not undertake more than 60 credits per year, meaning that an undergraduate degree will take typically six years to complete. With the exception of some degrees in fast moving areas (such as computing) there is generally no limit on the time which a student may take. Students need special permission to take more than 120 points (equivalent to full-time study) at any time; such permission is not usually granted.

Originally the BA was the only undergraduate degree, and it was unnamed. The modern OU grants the BA, the BSc, and LLB undergraduate degrees, and the BA and BSc may be named (following a specified syllabus) or unnamed (constructed of courses chosen by the student).

Many OU faculties have now introduced short modules worth ten credits. Most of these modules are taught online, and start at regular intervals throughout the year. They typically provide an introduction to a broader subject over a period of ten weeks, these are generally timed during vacations at conventional universities in order to take advantage of their facilities. Some science modules, which require only home study, are complemented by residential courses, in order to allow the student to gain practical laboratory experience in that field; typically, an award of degree or diploma will require completion of both.

Different modules are run at different times of the year, but, typically, a 30 or 60 credit module will run either from October to June or from February through to October. Assessment is by both continual assessment (with, normally, between four and eight assignments during the year) and, for most, a final examination or, on some modules, a major assignment.
Degrees

As well as degrees in named subject, the Open University also grants "Open" Bachelor degrees where the syllabus is designed by the students by combining any number of Open University modules up to 300 credits for an Open degree and 360 credits for an Open honours degree – the main restriction on which courses can be included is that there must be at least 60 at level 3 for the "ordinary degree" and 120 at level 3 for honours and in both cases no more than 120 at level 1. The Open degree may be awarded as a Bachelor of Arts Open or a Bachelor of Science Open either with or without honours. Without honours, at least 150 credits at level 1 and above and 60 credits at level 2 and above are required in the field, either art or science, for the Open degree to carry that name. For a degree with honours, no more than 120 credits at level 1, 120 credits at level 2 and above and 120 credits at level 3 and above are required.
Other qualifications

The Open University grants undergraduate Certificates (abbreviated Cert) typically awarded after 60 completed credits at Level 1 or Level 3 (where each credit corresponds to roughly 10 hours of study, therefore 60 credits represent about 600 hours of effort), Diplomas (abbreviated Dip) after 120 credits – typically 60 credits at Level 2 and 60 credits at Level 3, ordinary Bachelor degrees (abbreviated BA, BSc, etc.) after 300 credits, and Bachelor degrees with honours, (abbreviated BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), etc.) after 360 credits. Open University also awards Foundation degree
Foundation degree
The Foundation Degree is a vocational qualification introduced by the government of the United Kingdom in September 2001, which is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland...

s
(abbreviated FdA, FdSc, etc.).

OU also offers a limited number of CertHE (120 CATS) and DipHE (240 CATS).

Postgraduate

The Open University provides the opportunity to study for a PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 on a part-time distance, or a full-time on-site basis in a wide range of disciplines as well as an EdD for professionals in education. The University also offers a range of Master's
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 levels modules such as the MBA
Master of Business Administration
The Master of Business Administration is a :master's degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out...

 and MPA
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration is a professional post-graduate degree in Public Administration. The MPA program prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, and increasingly in nongovernmental organization and...

, MSc
Master of Science
A Master of Science is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in the sciences including the social sciences.-Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay:...

, MA
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 and MEd
Master of Education
The Master of Education is a postgraduate academic master's degree awarded by universities in a large number of countries. This degree in education often includes the following majors: curriculum and instruction, counseling, and administration. It is often conferred for educators advancing in...

, and MRes
Master of Research
In the UK and Ireland, the Master of Research degree is an advanced postgraduate degree available in a range of academic disciplines. Although a relatively new degree, the MRes is becoming increasingly popular with a number of the Russell Group Universities such as Imperial College London,...

, as well as the professional PGCE
Postgraduate Certificate in Education
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one-year course in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for undergraduate degree holders that allows them to train to be a teacher....

 qualification and a number of postgraduate diplomas and certificates including innovative practice-based modules and postgraduate computing qualifications for professionals. Postgraduate certificates are awarded for 60 credits of study on specified modules; postgraduate diplomas are awarded for 120 credits of study on specified modules. The University offers "Advanced Diplomas" that involve 60 credits at undergraduate level and 60 credits at postgraduate level – these are designed as "bridges" between undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Degree ceremonies

Unlike most United Kingdom universities, degree graduation
Graduation
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

 presentation ceremonies at the Open University are not the occasion on which degrees are formally conferred. This happens in absentia
In absentia
In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". In legal use, it usually means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. The phrase is not ordinarily a mere observation, but suggests recognition of violation to a defendant's right to be present in court proceedings in a criminal trial.In...

at a joint meeting of the University's Council and Senate ahead of the ceremony. The University's ceremonies — or "Presentation of Graduates" — occur throughout the year at various prestigious auditorium venues located throughout the United Kingdom, plus one each in Ireland and Continental Western Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

. In the year 2010 the OU held 26 degree ceremonies including Dublin, Manchester, Glasgow, Ely and Versailles. These ceremonies are presided over by a senior academic at Pro-Vice-Chancellor level or higher, and have the normal formal rituals associated with a graduation ceremony, including academic dress
Academic dress
Academic dress or academical dress is a traditional form of clothing for academic settings, primarily tertiary education, worn mainly by those that have been admitted to a university degree or hold a status that entitles them to assume them...

, procession
Academic procession
An academic procession is a traditional ceremony in which university dignitaries march together wearing traditional academic dress. An academic procession forms a usual part of college and university graduation exercises. At many U.S...

, and university mace
Ceremonial mace
The ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon...

.
In year 2000, The Open University was the first to host an online 'virtual' graduation ceremony in the United Kingdom together with an audience at the OU's campus in Milton Keynes. Twenty-six students in eight countries, from the United States of America to Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, were presented for their masters degrees in the online graduation, including, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 (MIT) – Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee, , also known as "TimBL", is a British computer scientist, MIT professor and the inventor of the World Wide Web...

 one of the founders of the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 who was conferred with an honorary doctorate.

Research

Like other UK universities, the OU actively engages in research. The OU's Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute has become particularly well known to the public through its involvement in space missions. In October 2006, the Cassini-Huygens mission including 15 people from the OU received the 2006 "Laurels for Team Achievement Award" from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Cassini-Huygens' successful completion of its seven-year, two billion-mile journey in January 2005 to Saturn ended with Huygens landing farther away from Earth than any previous probe or craft in the history of space exploration. The first instrument to touch Saturn's moon Titan was the Surface Science Package containing nine sensors to investigate the physical properties of Titan's surface. It was built by a team at the OU led by Professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 John Zarnecki
John Zarnecki
John C. Zarnecki is an English Sir Arthur Clarke Award winning professor and researcher in space science. Currently working at the Open University since 2000, he was previously a professor and researcher at the University of Kent...

.

The OU now employs over 500 people engaged in research in over 25 areas, and there are over 1,200 research students. It spends approximately £20 million each year on research, around £6 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England
Higher Education Funding Council for England
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the United Kingdom, which has been responsible for the distribution of funding to Universities and Colleges of Higher and Further Education in England since...

, the remainder from external funders.

The Open University also runs the Open Research Online
Open Research Online
Open Research Online is a repository of research publications run by The Open University .It uses the GNU ePrints software and its repositories use the Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting....

 (ORO) website.

Students

A diverse range of students from all walks of life are attracted to the OU; for most modules there are no entry requirement
College admissions
University admission or college admissions is the process through which students enter tertiary education at universities and colleges. Systems vary widely from country to country, and sometimes from institution to institution....

s other than the ability to study at an appropriate level, though most postgraduate modules require evidence of previous study or equivalent life experience. This fundamental open admissions policy makes undergraduate university study accessible to all.

In the 2009–10 academic year over 70% of students were in full-time or part-time employment, often working towards a first (or additional) degree or qualification to progress or change their career. Over 50,000 students are being sponsored by their employer (three out of four FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses). The University is also popular with those who cannot physically attend a traditional (on-campus) university study course because they have health limitations
Disability
A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.Many people would rather be referred to as a person with a disability instead of handicapped...

, are working or resident overseas, in prison, serving in the armed forces, caring for family members, or are otherwise unable to attend or commit to traditional full-time or on-campus university study. Students are represented by the University's students' union
Students' union
A students' union, student government, student senate, students' association, guild of students or government of student body is a student organization present in many colleges and universities, and has started appearing in some high schools...

, known as the Open University Students Association
Open University Students Association
The Open University Students Association is the equivalent of a students' union for the Open University, and is often referred to as OUSA. All Open University students are members of OUSA unless they elect to formally opt out.-Facilities:...

, usually abbreviated to OUSA.

In the 2009–2010 academic year, there were 253,075 enrolled students, plus an additional 2,273 customers who bought course materials but did not enrol on a course to receive academic credits. The majority of students in the 2009–10 academic year were aged between 25 and 44 years old, with the median
Median
In probability theory and statistics, a median is described as the numerical value separating the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. The median of a finite list of numbers can be found by arranging all the observations from lowest value to...

 age of new undergraduates being 31. Most students were from England (166,936), while 15,744 were from Scotland, 8,443 from Wales, 4,225 from Northern Ireland, and 12,127 from elsewhere in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, plus others elsewhere. 61% of undergraduates were female, with even numbers among those taking postgraduate modules.

Young undergraduates

While most of those studying are mature students, an increasingly large proportion of new undergraduates are aged between 17–25, to the extent that the OU now has more students in this age range than the number of undergraduates at any other UK university. The reduction in financial support for those attending traditional universities, coupled with the use of technologies such as iTunes
ITunes
iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad....

 and YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 that appeal to this demographic, is believed to be behind this growth.

By spring 2011, 32,000 undergraduates were under 25 years old, representing around 25% of new students. In 2010, 29,000 undergraduates were in this age range. In the 2003–2004 academic year around 20% of new undergraduates were under 25, up from 12.5% in 1996–1997 (the year before top-up fees
Top-up fees
Tuition fees were first introduced across the entire United Kingdom in September 1998 as a means of funding tuition to undergraduate and postgraduate certificate students at universities, with students being required to pay up to £1,000 a year for tuition...

 were announced). In 2010 approximately 55% of those under 25 were also in full time employment.

The OU works with some schools to introduce A Level students to OU study and in 2009–2010 3% of undergraduates were under 18 years old.

Courses

Unlike other universities, where students register for a programme, OU students register separately for individual modules (which may be 10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 CATS
Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme
Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme is used by many universities in the United Kingdom to monitor, record and reward passage through a modular degree course and to facilitate movement between courses and institutions...

 credits, equivalent to 5, 7.5, 10, 15, or 30 ECTS
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System
This page describes ECTS-credits. For information about the ECTS grading system go to ECTS grading scale.European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other...

 credits). These modules may then be linked into degree programmes.

During the 2009–10 academic year social studies
Social studies
Social studies is the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence," as defined by the American National Council for the Social Studies...

 was the most popular study area (with 16,381 full-time equivalent students), followed by biological and physical sciences (12,357), and historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 studies (8,686); the least popular academic fields were mass communications and documentation
Documentation
Documentation is a term used in several different ways. Generally, documentation refers to the process of providing evidence.Modules of Documentation are Helpful...

 (123 full-time equivalent students) and creative arts
Creative Arts
Creative arts is the term used to describe different types of art. Specifically, to introduce fine art ideas, techniques, skills and media. It is generally used as an umbrella for Dramaturgy, Music , Graphic Arts/Cartooning, Performing Arts, Film and Publishing, Galleries and Museums and the Visual...

 and design
Design
Design as a noun informally refers to a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system while “to design” refers to making this plan...

 (2,528).

The most popular module during 2009–10 was DD101 An introduction to the social sciences (7,512 students), followed by AA100 The Arts Past and Present, B120 An Introduction to Business Studies, K101 An Introduction to Health and Social Care and Y163 Starting with Psychology.

Fees and financial assistance

61,787 students received financial assistance towards their study in 2009–10 and the typical cost for United Kingdom based students of a Bachelor's honours degree at the OU was between £3,780 and £5,130 (European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and international students pay more as the University does not receive government funding for them). After government support, the second most important revenue stream to The Open University is academic fees paid by the students, which totalled about £157 million in 2009–2010.

Qualifications awarded

The University enrolled fewer than 50,000 students in the 1970–1971 academic year, but it quickly exceeded that number by 1974–1975. By 1987–1988 yearly enrolment had doubled to 100,000 students, passing 200,000 by 2001–2002 and 250,000 in 2009–2010.

Cumulatively, by the end of 2009–2010 the OU had educated more than 1.5 million students and awarded 819,564 qualifications after successful assessment.

Notable current and former academics


  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    Jocelyn Bell Burnell
    Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, DBE, FRS, FRAS , is a British astrophysicist. As a postgraduate student she discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish. She was president of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010, and was interim president...

     – astronomer
  • Tim Benton
    Tim Benton
    Tim Benton is Professor of Art History at the Open University in the UK as well as a writer and broadcaster. He has written extensively on the modernist architect, Le Corbusier.His writings include:...

     – art historian
  • Catherine Cooke
    Catherine Cooke
    Catherine Anne Chichester Cooke was a British architect and a Russian scholar of international renown. She was Lecturer in Design at the Open University at the time of her death in a car accident in 2004...

     – architect and Russian scholar
  • Brian J. Ford
    Brian J. Ford
    Brian J. Ford is an independent research biologist, author, and lecturer, who publishes on scientific issues for the general public...

     – author
  • Brian Goodwin
    Brian Goodwin
    Brian Carey Goodwin was a Canadian mathematician and biologist, a Professor Emeritus at the Open University and a key founder of the field of theoretical biology.He made key contributions to the foundations of biomathematics, complex systems and generative models in developmental biology...

     – biologist
  • Stuart Hall
    Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)
    Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and sociologist who has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since 1951. Hall, along with Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of...

     – social scientist
  • Arthur Marwick
    Arthur Marwick
    Arthur John Brereton Marwick was a professor in history. Born in Edinburgh, he was a graduate of Edinburgh University and Balliol College, Oxford. - Career :...

     – historian
  • Doreen Massey
    Doreen Massey (geographer)
    Doreen Barbara Massey FRSA FBA AcSS , is a contemporary British social scientist and geographer, working among others on topics typical of marxist geography...

     – geographer
  • Oliver Penrose
    Oliver Penrose
    Oliver Penrose FRS, FRSE is a British theoretical physicist.He is the son of the scientist Lionel Penrose, brother of the mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, and brother of chess master Jonathan Penrose...

     – mathematician
  • Colin Pillinger
    Colin Pillinger
    Colin Trevor Pillinger, CBE, is a planetary scientist at the Open University in the UK. He was the principal investigator for the British Beagle 2 Mars lander project, and has done much work studying a group of Martian meteorites.In May 2005 Pillinger was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.-Early...

     – planetary scientist
  • Steven Rose
    Steven Rose
    Steven P. Rose is a Professor of Biology and Neurobiology at the Open University and University of London.-Life:...

     – biologist
  • Russell Stannard
    Russell Stannard
    Russell Stannard is a retired high-energy particle physicist, who was born in London, England, on December 24, 1931. He currently holds the position of Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Open University...

     – physicist
  • Nigel Warburton
    Nigel Warburton
    Nigel Warburton is a philosopher, currently Senior Lecturer at the Open University. He is best known as a populariser of philosophy, being author of a number of books of this genre, but he has also written academic works in esthetics and applied ethics.-Education:Warburton received a BA from the...

     – philosopher
  • Margaret Wetherell
    Margaret Wetherell
    Margaret Wetherell is a prominent academic in the area of discourse analysis. Her 1987 book, Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour, cowritten with Jonathan Potter, was very influential, particularly in social psychology, though also in other fields...

     – discourse analyst, social psychologist
  • Glenn White
    Glenn White
    Glenn J. White is currently Professor of Astronomy at the Open University, UK, and Research Group Leader of the Astronomy Group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory...

     – astronomer
  • Robin Wilson
    Robin Wilson (mathematician)
    Robin James Wilson is a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Open University, a Stipendiary Lecturer at Pembroke College, Oxford and, , Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London, where he has also been a visiting professor...

     – mathematician

Notable graduates

The OU has over two million alumni, including:
  • Professor Mary Stuart – Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln
    University of Lincoln
    The University of Lincoln is an English university founded in 1992, with origins tracing back to the foundation and association with the Hull School of Art 1861....

  • Air Chief Marshall Sir Brian Burridge, Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     (RAF) officer
  • Elizabeth Arnold
    Elizabeth Arnold (children's writer)
    -Folklore:Having worked for many years as a school science technician and a quality control manager, Elizabeth Arnold came to write The Parsley Parcel, her first novel, out of a love of folklore, and originally with adults in mind rather than children...

    , children's writer
  • Craig Brown
    Craig Brown (football)
    James Craig Brown CBE is a Scottish former professional football player and manager. He is currently manager of Aberdeen....

    , former Scotland
    Scotland national football team
    The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

     football manager
  • Peter Cottrell
    Peter Cottrell
    Major Peter James Cottrell . Anglo-Welsh soldier, sailor, writer, educator and revisionist military historian of the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War.-Biography:...

     - Soldier, Author and Military Historian
  • Romola Garai
    Romola Garai
    Romola Sadie Garai is an English actress. She is known for appearing in the movies Amazing Grace, Atonement, and Glorious 39, and for appearing in the BBC adaptation of Emma.-Early life:...

    , actress
  • Lenny Henry
    Lenny Henry
    Lenworth George "Lenny" Henry, is a British actor, writer, comedian and occasional television presenter.- Early life :...

    , entertainer
  • Gerry Hughes
    Gerry Hughes
    Gerry Hughes is the first profoundly deaf man to sail single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean. He crossed the finishing line off Castle Hill, Newport at 1130hrs local time on Saturday 3 July 2005 after 35 days of sailing.-Biography:...

    , sailor, first single-handed crossing of the Atlantic by a deaf person
  • Mylene Klass – actress and media personality
  • Meles Zenawi
    Meles Zenawi
    Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

    , Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  • Bobby Cummines
    Bobby Cummines
    Robert "Bobby" Cummines OBE FRSA is the chief executive of UNLOCK, The National Association of Reformed Offenders. He was formerly one of the United Kingdom's most notorious bank robbers.-References:...

     OBE FRSA – Charity chief executive and reformed offender
  • Dean Anthony Gratton
    Dean Anthony Gratton
    Dean Anthony Gratton is a bestselling author and columnist, specialising in wireless communications. He is married to author, television presenter and former actress Sarah-Jayne Gratton née Camden.-Early life:...

     - author and columnist

In fiction

The Open University has been featured in many film and television programmes. The plot of Educating Rita
Educating Rita
Educating Rita is a stage comedy by British playwright Willy Russell. It is a play for two actors set entirely in the office of an Open University lecturer....

surrounds the working class character aiming to "improve" herself by studying English literature. She attends private tutorials run by alcoholic lecturer Frank. The teaching methods are not an accurate portrayal of contemporary teaching at the OU.

Television characters have also followed OU courses. These include Anne Bryce in the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 sit-com Ever Decreasing Circles
Ever Decreasing Circles
Ever Decreasing Circles is a British situation comedy which ran on BBC1 for four series from 1984 to 1989.It was written by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, and reunited them with Richard Briers, the star of their previous hit show, The Good Life. It was much less brash than most situation comedies,...

, Yvonne Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart
Goodnight Sweetheart
Goodnight Sweetheart is a sitcom that ran for six series on BBC1 from 1993 to 1999. It stars Nicholas Lyndhurst as Gary Sparrow, an accidental time traveller who leads a double life after discovering a time portal allowing him to travel between the London of the 1990s and the same area during the...

, and Bulman
Bulman
Bulman was a Granada TV series which ran from 1985-1987 and followed the fortunes of the major character from the earlier XYY Man and Strangers series....

, in the ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 spin-off from the series Strangers
Strangers (TV series)
Strangers was a UK police drama that appeared on ITV between 1978 and 1982.After the success of the TV series The XYY Man, adapted from books by Kenneth Royce, Granada TV devised a new series to feature the regular characters of Detective Sergeant George Bulman and his assistant Detective...

. Sheila Grant
Sheila Grant
Sheila Grant is a fictional character from British soap opera, Brookside played by Sue Johnston. Sheila appeared in Brookside from the first episode in 1982 until the characters departure in 1990.-Character:...

 (Sue Johnston
Sue Johnston
Susan "Sue" Johnston, OBE is a BAFTA nominated English actress best known for playing Sheila Grant in the long-running soap opera Brookside , Grace Foley in Waking the Dead from 2000 to 2011 and Barbara Royle in the BBC comedy The Royle Family between 1998 and 2000, and again in 2006, 2008, 2009,...

) was accused of having an affair with her tutor in Brookside
Brookside
Brookside is a defunct British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003...

. Onslow
Onslow (Keeping Up Appearances)
Onslow is a fictional character in the British 1990s comedy series Keeping Up Appearances, portrayed by actor Geoffrey Hughes. Onslow is a working class relative of the social-climbing snob, Hyacinth Bucket...

, a character from Keeping up Appearances
Keeping Up Appearances
Keeping Up Appearances is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. Centred on the life of eccentric, social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket , the sitcom portrays a social hierarchy-ruled British society...

, watches Open University programming on television from time to time.

In Autumn 2006, Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry
Lenworth George "Lenny" Henry, is a British actor, writer, comedian and occasional television presenter.- Early life :...

 was a star in Slings and Arrows, a one-off BBC television drama
BBC television drama
BBC television dramas have been produced and broadcast since even before the public service company had an officially established television broadcasting network in the United Kingdom...

 which he also wrote, about someone who falls in love while on an OU English Literature course. (Henry has himself completed an OU degree in English)

In the 2006-7 TV series Life on Mars
Life on Mars (TV series)
Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007. The series combines elements of science fiction and police procedural....

, Sam Tyler
Sam Tyler
DCI/DI Sam Tyler is a fictional character in BBC One's science fiction/police procedural drama, Life on Mars.In the original British version of Life on Mars, Tyler is played by John Simm and in the American version he is played by Jason O'Mara....

 received messages from the real world via Open University programmes late at night.

In the 2005 science fiction novel Sunstorm
Sunstorm (novel)
Sunstorm is a 2005 science fiction novel co-written by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. It is the second book in the series A Time Odyssey. The books in this series are often likened to the Space Odyssey series, although the Time Odyssey novels ostensibly deal with time where the...

, written by Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein,...

 and Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter is a prolific British hard science fiction author. He has degrees in mathematics and engineering.- Writing style :...

, the fictional Astronomer Royal, called Siobhan McGorran, used to work for the Open University in Milton Keynes.

During the Black Books
Black Books
Black Books is a British sitcom television series created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan and produced by Nira Park, first broadcast on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2004...

episode "Party", Fran Katzenjammer (Tamsin Greig
Tamsin Greig
Tamsin Greig is an English actress principally known for two Channel 4 television comedy parts: Fran Katzenjammer in Black Books and Dr. Caroline Todd in Green Wing...

) informs Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey is an English comedian, musician and actor. As well as his extensive stand-up work, Bailey is well known for his appearances on Black Books, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You, and QI.Bailey was listed by The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy in...

) that he was admitted to The Open University, however his Admission Letter was destroyed by Bernard Black (Dylan Moran
Dylan Moran
Dylan Moran is an Irish stand-up comedian, writer, actor and filmmaker. He is best known for his sardonic observational comedy, the UK television sitcom Black Books , and his work with Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run...

).

See also

:Category:Academics of the Open University
  • List of Open University Alumni
  • Open2.net
    Open2.net
    Open2.net was a website run by the The Open University in support of collaborations with the BBC and described as an "online learning portal". The site contained a listings guide for TV and radio programmes that aired across the BBC broadcast network, articles by OU academics, interactive learning...

  • Open University Press

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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