Celebrating 50 years of The Open University

In April 1969, The Open University was established with a clear purpose: to open education for all. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, this radical idea makes us more relevant than ever before.

As the UK’s largest university with nearly 174,000 students, we are still committed to celebrating diversity, challenging under-representation and continuing to widen access to education. We are proud to have empowered more than two million learners to achieve their potential and strive to build on this in the future.

In the Business School, we have had more than 100,000 people from more than 120 countries study with us since the 1980s. Moreover, we remain part of an exclusive group (fewer than 1%) of business schools globally which are triple accredited (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS).

Our four academic departments host a number of centres of excellence. Those include policing (Centre for Policing Research and Learning, or CPRL), personal finance (True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, or True Potential PUFin) and the voluntary sector (Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership, or CVSL).

More than a quarter of our alumni have an MBA. We’re especially proud of one MBA alumnus, Tillman Henssler, who was recently named as an AACSB Influential Leader. This annual initiative recognises a select band of business school graduates who are creating a lasting impact in the world.

Our Executive Education team continue to help meet the needs of busy professionals by offering flexible online learning. We also offer three end-to-end degree apprenticeships – Chartered Manager Degree ApprenticeshipSenior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship and Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship – for private, public and third sector organisations.

In the OU’s 50th anniversary year, we are looking forward to celebrating our long-standing partnerships and telling our story in a way that has not been told before. We want to shine a light on our students past and present, our world-class academics and the global learning family who make the OU what it is today.

There are many ways you can get involved in the celebrations. Visit the 50th-anniversary website to see our series of events and talks you can attend or watch online. You can also use #OU50 across social media to join in the conversation.

Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy, Associate Dean for External Engagement in The Open University Business School

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