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    Annual Report 2009/10 ,, Changing Lives,, ,, Responsive Solutions ,, ,, Innovating ,,


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    01 Contents Forewords Vice-Chancellor 02 Pro-Chancellor 04 Chancellor 05 Changing Lives Transforming lives, workplace and society 06 Inspiring wider participation 08 Working in partnership to meet major challenges in society 10 Responsive Solutions Creating wider choice in higher education 12 Solutions at scale and quality 14 Responding to new challenges 16 Innovating Global reputation for leading revolution in online learning 18 Pioneering Open Educational Resources 20 Using innovative technology to develop unique solutions 22 Thank you to our supporters 24 Timeline – a snapshot of the OU year 26 Financial highlights and yearly results 2009/10 28 Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    02 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Foreword Vice-Chancellor’s foreword This year has been a year of great change for The Open University, the higher education sector and the entire United Kingdom – and the future contains many uncertainties and challenges for all of us. In facing that future I am grateful to my predecessor, Professor Brenda Gourley, for all she did to ensure that The Open University today is financially stable and held in such high regard. I arrived in October 2009 at a University whose effect on the delivery of higher education worldwide during its 40-year history has been both unique and profound. Our enduring mission – to be open to people, places, methods and ideas – forms the bedrock of our strategy. We are working to adapt and strengthen the University in this challenging economic and competitive environment. This will ensure we can continue to offer high-quality supported open learning to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential. In October 2010, we received some important news when Lord Browne published his report on higher education funding and student finance in England. This landmark report agreed with our argument that the four in ten higher education students who study part time should be entitled to the same access to finance as their full-time counterparts. At a time when our economy needs growth and highly skilled people to compete internationally, flexible learning has a huge role to play and this recommendation has been welcomed by all political parties and many other stakeholders. As this Annual Report is published, our work continues to ensure that the new funding regime delivers on Lord Browne’s bold vision. Our Annual Report gives you an insight into the contribution that this University makes across so many different fields. I hope that you will enjoy discovering more about the inspiring and innovative work that we do here at The Open University. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Foreword 03 ,, Our enduring mission – to be open to people, places, methods and ideas – forms the bedrock of our strategy ,, The OU enables millions around the world to access and engage with our open education resources, including our iTunes U albums and eBooks, OpenLearn website, YouTube channel and Open Research Online. Our long-standing collaboration with the BBC results in award-winning programmes that are watched or listened to by a global audience and our use of new technologies is helping to bring vital training to the developing world through groundbreaking projects such as English In Action in Bangladesh, and the Health Education and Training project in Ethiopia. The Open University is truly a remarkable institution, committed to social mobility and innovation, bringing many thousands of people into higher education, and helping to transform lives, work and society. Our success is the result of collective effort and so I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank all of our supporters: our students, staff, friends, partners, donors, alumni, honorary graduates and advocates – your contributions and ambassadorship are invaluable and you provide hope and inspiration to so many. Thanks to our vibrant community, we face the future with confidence, knowing that we are a key part of the solution to the challenges of today, and that delivery on our mission is more relevant to the needs of individuals, business and the economy than ever before. Martin Bean Vice-Chancellor Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    04 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Foreword Pro-Chancellor’s foreword Martin Bean has had a baptism of fire in his first year as Vice-Chancellor, thanks to a change in government and a radical review of higher education in England and the rest of the United Kingdom. The OU is at the centre of this review, because of its unique contribution, and Martin has been heavily engaged in discussions at the highest level. This is in recognition of his immense experience of the way higher education is going globally. My main concern is that, because of the economic crisis, Government decisions will be taken too hastily, without fully assessing their long-term consequences. But, whilst the OU must, like all the other universities, expect to take some pain, all the signs are that we will come out of the crisis more relevant and more important to the country than ever before. However, whilst politicians may be under pressure to act too precipitously, we must do our best to keep focused on the long-term implications for The Open University of radical reform. There are risks, but I suspect that the opportunities will offset the short-term squeeze. I am confident that Martin and his team are well up to the challenge. Unlike some other institutions we are determined to manage the changes ahead, rather than resist and deny them. Lord Haskins of Skidby Pro-Chancellor Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Foreword 05 Chancellor’s foreword This Annual Report celebrates the highlights of what has been an exciting 12 months for The Open University. Earlier this year I had the privilege of joining the Vice-Chancellor, members of the Faculty of Education and Language Studies, and five African teachers when we visited Buckingham Palace to collect the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa project called TESSA. TESSA is a great example of how the OU’s technology, pedagogy, support and global reach dramatically improve lives of people everywhere. Rather than simply focusing on the more traditional forms of aid, the OU is training teachers at scale, allowing them the means to create opportunity for their pupils through education. It’s The Open University’s expertise in providing higher education through digital media which enables people to change their lives in a number of different ways. As Martin has already mentioned, our Open Education Resources have had a global impact, as has our philanthropic work. This year saw the launch of English in Action, a project which will help 25 million people in Bangladesh develop their language skills using mobile technology, and then there is our HEAT project, which trains African nurses, so highly regarded that it has already attracted $4 million in funding from UNICEF. So I am proud to be the Chancellor of a University that is prepared to tackle the great global challenges of our time and which offers excellence, dynamism and inspiration to all those who can benefit from our reach and experience. This Annual Report will hopefully give you an even greater understanding of the breadth, depth and impact of the OU’s work. Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, CBE Chancellor Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    06 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Changing Lives ,, Changing Lives ,, Transforming lives, workplace and society The OU is a responsive and dynamic institution uniquely placed to drive economic development, social mobility and innovation in higher education. Our method of open supported learning gives students the flexibility to fit their study around their work and other commitments, while contributing to the economy through both the taxes they pay and the work they do. This also suits the interests of employers, who immediately benefit from the knowledge their employees have gained – and they do not have to replace staff who would otherwise need time off to attend day-release courses. Prime Minister on the OU’s role Following the general election, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, chose the OU as the venue to present the Government’s plans to reduce the national deficit. At the outset of his speech he paid tribute to the work of the OU, describing it as a “Great British innovation and invention”. Mr Cameron said: “The knowledge- based economy is the economy of the future and in building that economy – and recognising it is not just about young people’s skills, but people’s skills all through their lives – the OU has a huge, huge role to play.” Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at The Open University Library, 7 June 2010 ,, The OU has a huge, huge role to play ,, Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Changing Lives 07 Redefining European citizenship Developing UK e-learning 1,500 extra students The OU has been awarded a €2 million Before starting his role as Vice-Chancellor The Higher Education Funding Council grant from the European Research in 2009, Martin Bean was appointed to for England (HEFCE) has granted the Council to lead a five-year global the Government’s Online Learning Task OU 1,500 additional full-time equivalent research project to examine and Force, advising on a wider strategy to places in Science, Technology, redefine what ‘European help UK universities build on their existing Engineering and Maths for 2010/11 citizenship’ means. world-class reputations to access and through the University Modernisation engage future markets. Fund. Citizenship after Orientalism, based in the OU’s Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG), will examine Engaging with industry western civilisation from the ‘outside in’, Martin Bean was one of a panel of using research on cultures and practices experts at the CBI (Confederation of of citizenship from around the globe. British Industry) Higher Education Summit in October 2009, which focused on how The researchers are seeking to reframe higher education and business can the work of Max Weber, widely regarded deliver world-class graduates. as one of the most significant thinkers of the past century and one of the Martin said the OU has always founders of social science. championed high-quality education as a human right, and traditional routes to HE cannot keep pace with the ever- increasing demand of students looking to train and re-skill. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    08 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Changing Lives ,, Changing Lives ,, Inspiring wider participation The Open University is committed to promoting social inclusion and educational opportunity by working to remove barriers to learning experienced by those who have had limited access in the past. Much of this work is done through developing opportunities to work in partnership and collaboration with external agencies. Research and evaluation are becoming an increasingly important part of the University as it attempts to extend its knowledge about widening participation and to disseminate it to others. 100,000th Openings student The OU celebrated its 100,000th Openings student – Robert Wiltshire, a father of two from Cornwall. Openings courses are designed for people who may feel daunted by the idea of university-level study, and aim to build confidence, teach study skills and prepare students for the challenge of regular undergraduate courses. Robert, a full-time dad, decided to embark on the 10-point Introducing environment (Y161) course when his two sons began full-time education. Robert Wiltshire (with son George) is the OU’s 100,000th Openings student Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Changing Lives 09 Validating 100,000 awards The OU’s Validation Service has conferred its 100,000th validated award. Through validation, the OU makes higher education awards available to the students of organisations that do not have their own awarding powers. The OU’s validation service is the largest in the UK and, through peer review, the University makes judgements about the curriculum, the teaching, learning and assessment, and the quality management, reporting and enhancement arrangements of its partners. Researching widening University in the Community participation The University in the Community The Open University has hosted its first initiative aims to establish the OU as a New opportunities for apprentices national widening participation research key player in challenging the barriers to Aimhigher Greater Manchester, based at conference, attracting more than higher education for local citizens in the OU’s North West regional office, has 150 delegates. selected areas, and is very much about scooped a national award for its work in remembering our core values of creating new opportunities for apprentices More than 40 research papers were being truly open and challenging to to progress to higher education. presented at the event in Milton Keynes educational inequalities by, in this in June 2010. case, taking the OU to the centre of The awards celebrate the most effective local communities. and innovative Aimhigher work being John Rose-Adams, Research and undertaken across the country and the Information Officer, Centre for Inclusion The opening project uses a local achievements of those who benefit from and Curriculum, who organised the learning centre in Bristol as a study the programme. event, said: “The conference raised The centre, where there are drop-in Open University’s profile in Widening sessions and study skills support, Aimhigher is a Government organisation Participation research and scholarship and local ambassadors partner with aimed at making people aware of the in a national arena.” outreach workers to raise aspirations benefits higher education can bring, and help overcome the educational whatever their background. barriers faced by many people in the region. This is just one of the projects which received funding from the OU Supporters’ Fund. Former Business Minister Pat McFadden (left) presents Aimhigher award to Carole Harvey, and Vic Leyden for the OU’s work in creating new opportunities for apprentices Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    10 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Changing Lives ,, Changing Lives ,, Working in partnership to meet major challenges in society Partnerships with a range of organisations whose objectives are closely aligned with the OU’s provide huge opportunities and catalysts for innovation. These partnerships include research collaborations with other universities and organisations, as well as links with professional organisations in which both parties benefit from complementary expertise. The OU brings to its relationships professional delivery of specialised academic knowledge and technical expertise in the field of online distance learning. OU/e2v Centre for Electronic Imaging The OU and e2v, a leading developer and manufacturer of specialist components and sub-systems for the medical, aerospace and defence industries, are partners in the Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI) based at the OU’s Milton Keynes campus. Dedicated to the research and development of advanced technologies for electronic image sensing, the CEI focuses on the development of opportunities in space and terrestrial The Robert Hooke Building is home to the Centre for Electronic Imaging – imaging – with plans to extend a partnership between the OU and e2v the scope to health and environmental applications. The CEI provides a place to explore industrial advancements and technological breakthroughs in science and medicine, while playing stimulating knowledge exchange between the wider UK technology industry and the academic world. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Changing Lives 11 Gordon Brown backs partnership Knowledge Transfer Partnerships The then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) launched the Jennie Lee Partnership develop long-term, mutually beneficial with the OU, which will lead to improved relationships between universities and and extended higher education UK companies, providing career opportunities in Fife. development opportunities for talented graduates. The partnership will provide a link from Adam Smith College’s higher education The Open University has six ongoing qualifications to those offered by the OU. KTPs, including ones with Executive Interview Ltd in Arlesey and Hallé The October launch was in Lochgelly, Concerts Society in Manchester. birthplace of Jennie Lee, one of the leading figures in the establishment of The Open University. UNISON renews partnership The OU and UNISON have formally renewed their partnership to increase participation in education among public sector workers. Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean said: “We are really proud of our innovative partnership with the UK’s largest public sector union and with 4,500 UNISON members studying with us to date, it’s clearly a success.” Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said: “Everyone is entitled to an education and it is proven that OU courses lead to a boost in performance and morale.” Professional training for foster carers Top left: OU Vice-Chancellor, Martin Bean, A partnership between the OU and the and UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, Fostering Network will support foster renew the partnership carers with their professional development Above: Gordon Brown launches the Jennie by providing access to a unique range Lee Partnership in Fife of courses and opportunities for attaining formal qualifications. The agreement Left: Robert Tapsfield, Chief Executive of the gives foster carers the opportunity to Fostering Network, with the OU’s Professor David Vincent, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategy broaden their knowledge so that they and External Affairs) can deliver the best possible care for fostered children. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    12 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Responsive Solutions ,, Responsive Solutions ,, Creating wider choice in higher education The OU embraces the latest technology in order to deliver flexible, convenient and relevant pathways of learning. This not only extends to those enrolled on OU courses but also reaches those who have an interest in learning and education, whether formally or informally. Whether it is for career development, personal achievement, or just the quest for knowledge, the OU can help learners to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. iTunes U: 26 million visits OpenLearn scoops award The OU reached a milestone in OpenLearn, the OU’s open educational September 2010 as the first university resource portal, won the ICT Initiative to hit 26 million downloaded tracks on of the Year Award at the Times Higher iTunes U, a dedicated area within the Leadership and Management iTunes Store. Awards 2010. The OU’s popularity has soared since One judge commented that OpenLearn content was first made available on “breaks open previous university iTunes U in June 2008. business models and chimes in an age when everyone expects content An upsurge in people accessing OU for free.” student websites on their mobile devices reinforces the increasing popularity of more flexible content like the materials on iTunes U. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Responsive Solutions 13 Working with Welsh Ambulance Working with the armed forces Engagement with the IT sector Services NHS Trust A new OU website aimed at the armed Across the UK, employers of IT The OU has secured a contract with the forces launched this year, with content professionals are seeking ways to Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust to aimed specifically at the army, navy, develop their graduates. Working with train five cohorts of Emergency Medical RAF and civil services, outlining the most e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Technicians to professional paramedic relevant courses and qualifications for Business and Information Technology, level via the Foundation Degree in each group. the OU is helping to address employers’ Paramedic Sciences (G11). needs. As with many other OU sites, there is The contract was secured by a team from a showcase of free OU content on Together, The Open University and OU in Wales, the Science Faculty and iTunes U and OpenLearn, as well as e-skills UK have developed an industry- Corporate Employment Services (CES). video footage, case studies and recognised training framework which The contract is worth about £250,000 in podcasts, to encourage new or improves both skills and career fees plus additional funding from the further study. progression for IT professionals, with Higher Education Funding Council for clients including British Airways. Wales (HEFCW). More than 4,000 service personnel and their dependants, whatever their role The e-skills Professional Programme The biggest corporate sponsor of this and wherever they are stationed, are is based on extensive research into programme is currently South West currently studying with the OU. employer requirements, so provides a Ambulance Service NHS Trust which has blend of technical and managerial sponsored over 300 places to the value competencies. The training delivers of £354,000. motivated and well-educated IT professionals equipped to deal with increasingly complex business needs. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    14 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Responsive Solutions ,, Responsive Solutions ,, Solutions at scale and quality The Open University delivers high-quality learning to students wherever they may be based in the world. A 10 per cent increase in student numbers this year means that 250,000 people are currently studying with the University. Almost 30,000 of that number are under 25 and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff on OU courses. High student satisfaction The OU has remained in the top three higher education Institutions in the UK for student satisfaction, maintaining its position at the forefront of the National Student Survey ratings since they began in 2005. More than 30,000 OU students were surveyed – the sample size more than trebling since last year’s survey – with 93 per cent saying they were satisfied overall with the quality of their course. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Responsive Solutions 15 Financial Services foundation degree The Foundation Degree in Financial Services, a new qualification from the OU, has been endorsed by The National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) as an innovative way of opening access to financial services careers. The Skills Academy now offers the foundation degree as a career development route for employers, and encourages FE colleges in its network to link to the OU to deliver the course at a local level. Former City minister, Lord Myners, launches the Foundation Degree in Financial Services Welding Institute degree scheme 1,000 sign up for Linux course A new foundation degree enables Linux: An introduction (T155) is a new technicians to gain a higher education Level 1 course aimed at beginners to qualification and enhance their career the freeware and open source principles prospects, helping to bridge the gap into of the computer operating system. The senior engineering, management or other course has had more than 1,000 higher-level positions. registrations since May. Under the OU and The Welding Institute Student Paul Combstock was the (TWI) degree scheme, students will gain first student to pass the Linux+ exam credits for welding engineering diploma of T155. You can read about his courses taught at TWI. experiences of the course, and his motivation for studying, at the following These courses start at a practical level, Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/9fNK7K and passing the exams will provide points towards an OU degree. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    16 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Responsive Solutions ,, Responsive Solutions ,, Responding to new challenges The University’s broad and deep expertise, combined with its innovative approach, means that it is ideally placed to help the UK face up to the challenge of the skills agenda at home and abroad. The OU is meeting these needs as the delivery of education is changing, creating content that is flexible and blends digital lifestyles and digital work styles. Teacher ICT training A new Open University-led initiative, called VITAL, will enhance professional skills of teachers to transform ICT-related learning. Funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the £5.6 million programme will help teachers use ICT as an inspirational and effective learning tool, and boost the technology skills of their students. The programme brings together the world-leading Virtual Learning Environment of The Open University with e-skills UK’s extensive employer reach and innovative education and IT skills programmes. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Responsive Solutions 17 The OU is working with St Paul’s Millennium Medical School in Addis Ababa to provide training to doctors Training Ethiopian health workers Analysing climate policy Ethiopiaid and the OU Supporters’ The Open University took a role in Fund have backed the OU's work with helping French officials assess climate St Paul’s Millennium Medical School negotiations and decisions at the [SPMMS], Addis Ababa. The innovative COP15 Climate Change Conference. SPMMS curriculum aims to train world- class doctors for practice in areas that The Syns COP15 programme was have limited medical provision. initiated by the French Ministry of Environment through the GICC The OU is working with SPMMS to help programme (managing climate develop its curriculum and provide change impacts). learning materials to support students and faculty both in the central campus It brought together three modelling and in more distant district general systems which analysed climate policy, hospitals. This will be the first Supported technology and energy considerations, Medical Education Centre (SMEC). and the economic impact of negotiations at the Copenhagen Climate SPMMS and SMEC will help the Change Conference. Ethiopian government to achieve its target of producing 11,000 additional doctors. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    18 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Innovating ,, Innovating ,, Global reputation for leading revolution in online learning The Open University has always been a world leader in online learning and the past 12 months has seen this reputation enhanced further. Its innovative work includes hosting a global virtual conference, providing Google Apps to aid student collaboration, the creation of a completely online Master of Philosophy programme and developing Second Life as a teaching and learning space. Online conference reaches international audience The OU has hosted an online conference ‘Learning in an Open World’, with delegates participating via the web conference platform Elluminate. It was open to all to attend – resulting in people from as far afield as Australia, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain taking part. OU speakers covered topics such as iTunes U, SocialLearn, OpenLearn, creating open courses and climate change, and many other areas of interest. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Innovating 19 Personalisation of learning systems The OU is supplying Google Apps to students to provide greater opportunities for them to collaborate and communicate with each other. Google provides an email account for students as well as tools for them to create, edit and share documents with others. Second Life Online Masters programme Many education providers are using the Virtual MPhil is a project aimed at Making use of Google Apps for online virtual world Second Life as a providing a new Master of Philosophy Education maintains the objective to meeting and research environment, (MPhil) programme completely online provide access to learning anytime, and increasingly as a teaching and and is designed to provide a supportive, anywhere, and on any platform. With learning space. professional-oriented structure. content and course work stored and backed up online, students can benefit The OU is experimenting with Second The aim of the project is to create an from more robust access to their Life to find the most effective ways for online research community for Computing, materials, with less platform and client- the University to utilise it. supported by a Virtual Learning specific support issues. Environment (VLE), which encompasses See Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean speak the many processes of research. to a Second Life audience at: Google Ancient Places project www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report Students, supervisors and their research Google Ancient Places, a joint project collaborators come together through the between the OU, the University of VLE, bringing their expertise and know- Southampton and the University of how to the community. California at Berkeley, has received funding from Google to explore digitised literature. The project will grant wide access to a broad range of literature, including rare material. Google has committed nearly $1 million to support digital humanities research during the next two years. The Digital Humanities Research Awards will support 12 university research groups with unrestricted grants for one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    20 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Innovating ,, Innovating ,, Pioneering Open Educational Resources As part of its mission the OU is making an increasing amount of its teaching and learning resources available free to anyone with access to the internet, no matter where in the world they live. Areas of rapid development and expansion in the past 12 months include the OU’s YouTube channel, Open Research Online (ORO), the LUCERO project and ground- breaking apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The OU has also continued to develop and enrich its 40-year relationship with the BBC. Launch of YouTube EDU One million visits to Open The Open University’s YouTube channel, Research Online the largest and most popular of the UK Open Research Online, the OU’s online university channels, has welcomed the research repository, has had one million launch of YouTube EDU across Europe. visits since its launch in 2006. The portal provides a one-stop shop for It is ranked fifth best HE repository in all university content on YouTube. The the UK by the Registry of Open Access Open University’s 700 videos have been Repositories and has more than viewed more than three million times. 14,000 research articles across a range of subjects. The Head Spin viral alone received more than 560,000 views, after the Thatcher This highlights the quality of research effect – a psychology experiment from papers made available on the site and the 80s – was discussed on the BBC shows that a committed policy of open show QI. access brings both opportunity and benefits to a wide community. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Innovating 21 Sir David Attenborough, David Dimbleby, Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean and BBC Director-General, Mark Thompson, at the OU/BBC 40th anniversary celebrations Linking data technology to Forty-year relationship with BBC Free apps for mobile devices education The OU and the BBC have celebrated The Darwin Devolve Me app for the LUCERO (Linking University Content for their 40th anniversary. The relationship iPhone and iPod Touch showcases how Education and Research Online) is a was celebrated with a special reception the OU embraces technology and makes research project at the OU that aims to at the BBC Media Centre in White City. education open to all. apply linked data technologies and principles to education and The OU and BBC have collaborated on The app is free to download via the research practices. programmes such as Child of Our iTunes U Store and is based on the Time, Coast, Bang Goes the Theory Devolve Me web application, which To realise this ambitious goal, LUCERO and The Virtual Revolution, which won Stephen Fry praised via Twitter, and has will have to create a new technical a Digital Emmy Award for digital been visited by 700,000 people. infrastructure to store, give access to, programme: non-fiction. manipulate and link data from several A Chinese characters app is available to institutional repositories, the library OU/BBC co-productions garnered other download in the iTunes U Store for free. It catalogue and staff databases. significant awards, including the 2009 teaches the writing of the first 20 Chinese Japan Prize in international educational characters introduced in the Beginners' broadcasting for Jimmy Doherty in Chinese language course (L197). Darwin’s Garden. The partnership also picked up four prestigious Learning on Screen awards, with the three-part series The Love of Money taking the General Education Broadcast award and the award for Best Overall Film. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    22 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Innovating ,, Innovating ,, Using innovative technology to develop unique solutions The OU has expanded its use of new technologies to help bring training within the reach of more of the developing world’s workforce. This is showcased through ongoing success with TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub- Saharan Africa), HEAT (Health Education and Training), and English in Action. OU wins Queen’s Anniversary Prize The Open University is one of 20 winners of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. Awarded for exceptional contributions by institutions in the higher and further education sectors to the wider community, the OU’s winning entry was the ground-breaking Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa programme (TESSA). Left to right: Jenestar Wanjiru (Kenya), Fidelia Babai (Ghana), Zukile Mashologu (South Africa), Risikat Iyabode Adenekan (Nigeria), Amel Tag Alsir Elhassan (Sudan) TESSA is now Africa’s largest teacher education research and development community, extending across 13 institutions and nine African countries. Five teachers from Africa collected the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the TESSA project. The five, from Kenya, Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana, joined Vice- Chancellor Martin Bean and TESSA directors Bob Moon and Freda Wolfenden at the ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February 2010. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Innovating 23 $4 million for health programme UNICEF is providing $4m to The Open University's HEAT programme and its Ethiopian partners. This is being used to upgrade the training of Ethiopia's 31,000 rural community health workers in critical child and maternal health services to help the Ethiopian government meet the Millennium Development Goals to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015. The materials being developed by the HEAT programme will also be used to train new community health workers. The materials cover a wide range of health promotion, disease prevention, basic management and essential treatment protocols to improve and Twenty-five million people to EU genetics data project protect the health of rural communities develop language skills The Knowledge Media Institute is the in Ethiopia. English in Action is a £50 million, leading partner in the application of nine-year programme to help 25 million semantic web technologies used in people in Bangladesh develop their Eurogene, a project supporting English language skills via new intelligent sharing and reuse of multi- mobile technologies. media, multilingual educational content in the area of human genetics. Launched in March 2010, English in Action is funded by the UK Department Text is automatically annotated using for International Development. The pilot the Eurogene multilingual genetic scheme uses The Open University’s ontology and the Universal Medical experts in distance education to produce Language System (UMLS). Eurogene development materials for teachers that fit calculates semantically similar content with the Bangladeshi school curriculum. across all languages for each piece of educational content submitted to the system. Individual educational presentations submitted to the system can be organised into learning packages to suit different courses and user groups. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    24 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Support Thank you to our supporters We welcome your support The OU has received more than £1.4 million in 2009/10 to support its work in widening access to education at home and abroad. The Open University would like to thank everyone who gave so generously towards the goal of making education accessible to all. The Open University Supporters’ Fund received a total of £525,000 from 5,721 supporters. This year two-thirds of the Fund was directed towards OU student bursaries to help with studies or course fees, with the final third split between 16 projects from international development work to community partnerships aimed at widening participation. The OU is grateful to its supporters who have given so generously. The impact of support on carers The impact of support on One of the areas which received funding students this year was a project supporting Jane: “My first couple of years studying carers who are studying with the OU. were very tough, physically and This project has developed resources emotionally,” says Jane, an OU student and web-based advice about study and carer. “I wrote to the OU and strategies, planning and funding, and explained my situation and they were has established a network of regional fantastic. I received help with books staff contacts to support student carers. and travel and it has made all the differ- ence.” This additional funding will enable the team to raise awareness of the project in Donna: One student benefiting from the wider University community, and will Supporters’ Fund donations is student help to ensure that effective links are Donna Akuffo, who says the funding she established with outside organisations received towards her degree “not only that promote the interests of carers. changed my life but saved my life.” You can read more about the people and projects who benefit from donations at www.open.ac.uk/fundraising. You can also donate online with our secure server at www.open.ac.uk/donatenow Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Support 25 Legacies We want to recognise and thank everyone who has remembered the OU in their will – including 70 who have pledged a legacy this year – and all those whose legacies we have received. In 2009/10, £282,891 was received from 13 estates, with gifts ranging from £100 to more than £121,000. The majority of legacies received were without restriction, enabling the OU to use them where the need was greatest. All specific gifts were left to support students financially. This was disbursed via the Student Assistance Fund, which Vice-Chancellor’s Circle Vice-Chancellor’s Gold Circle provides emergency support for students. The Open University is extremely members grateful to the individuals, organisations, Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund Legacy case study: (Natural England); The Comino trusts and foundations who made a Daphne Cooper Foundation; The David and Elaine Potter donation to the University in 2009/10. Daphne Cooper, a junior school teacher, Foundation; Mr R Delbridge; Dr E Dunn; set up her own ballet school in the Their donations support the work of the The Eranda Foundation; The Esmée 1950s, inspiring four generations of OU in widening access to education in Fairbairn Foundation; Ethiopiaid; children from the local community in the UK and across the globe. Examples The Gatsby Charitable Foundation; Abbots Langley, and continuing to run of this work are shown in this Mrs J Hunt; Lloyd’s Register Educational it until her death in 2009. annual report. Trust; Mrs Y Perret; PF Charitable Trust; The Roger and Jean Jefcoate Charitable Daphne, who studied art and literature Donors giving more than £1,000 in a Trust; Santander; The Shears Charitable courses with the OU in the 1980s, very year are invited to become part of the Foundation; The Sir James Knott Trust; generously left the OU £1,000 in cash, Vice-Chancellor’s Circle and donors of and The Waterloo Foundation. together with personal valuables which over £5,000 become part of the VC’s achieved more than £480 at auction. Gold Circle. For a full list of donors visit Vice-Chancellor’s Circle members www.open.ac.uk/fundraising Mr G Ahier; Mr and Mrs M Bean; Education meant a great deal to The Big Give; Dr D Day; Mr J Devlin; Daphne – her niece Virginia Philo said: Dr J Drysdale; Mr I Dykes; “She would have been delighted that Mrs G Goodwin; Sir Brandon and Lady her legacy was going to help someone Gough; Lord Haskins; Mr P Hewitt; else build a better life.” Miss D Hind; Mr I Johnson; Mr M Lugton; Mr S Morris; Mr F Neale; Sergeant D Poultney; Ms G Rumley; Dr D Speller; Mr R Staines; Mr M Steen OBE; Thriplow Charitable Trust; Mr P Todd; and two anonymous donors. Daphne Cooper Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    26 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Timeline Timeline – a snapshot of the OU year October 2009 March 2010 6 Associate Lecturer honoured Moth discovery on iSpot Bangor-based associate lecturer A photo of an unusual-looking Dr Anne Heyworth was named moth was identified as being the e-Tutor of the Year in the Inspire Euonymus Leaf Notcher moth – Adult Tutor and Mentor Awards never before identified in the UK – organised by NIACE Dysgu Cymru. after being posted on the OU’s website that helps people identify Anne, who tutors on U122 Make plants and wildlife. your experience count, received Left: Anne Heyworth March 2010 March 2010 12 22 Times Best Places to Work It ranks third in the ‘my company’ World of Inspiring Learning The OU is the highest ranking factor, which measures how staff launch Higher Education institution in the feel about their employer and work The OU’s Marketing and Sales 2010 Sunday Times Best Places to ethos, with 82 per cent of team launched the World of Work in the Public Sector list. employees appreciating the Inspiring Learning campaign, an positive impact the University ambitious communications project Placed in the list at number seven, has on society. that will shape the University’s 300 the OU is ranked higher than any annual campaigns. other public sector organisation for Right: Glenn Dimelow, Director of Best the categories ‘giving something Companies, presents the award to The aim of the project is to sum up back’ and ‘fair deal’. Steph Broadribb, the OU’s Assistant the essence of the OU mission, Director, HR Development showcasing our diversity and our April 2010 May 2010 21 25 AACSB re-accreditation for This means the Business School Carbon Trust Standard Business School remains among the one per cent The Open University has been The University received of international business schools awarded the Carbon Trust Standard re-accreditation for an additional which have triple accreditation. in recognition of its measuring, six years from the Association to managing and reducing its carbon Advance Collegiate Schools of emissions across all its national Business (AACSB). and regional centres. All aspects of The Open University The Standard is independent Business School were reviewed confirmation of the University’s and it was judged on how well it success in reducing carbon meets its defined mission. emissions, and was set up to July 2010 July 2010 Re-accreditation by the Middle 7 States Commission questioning of commonsense Opening of Alan Turing Building has been credited with shortening The OU secured re-accreditation assumptions, which can then be The Alan Turing Building, home to the Second World War by two years. by the Middle States Commission improved upon. The Open University’s Faculty of on HE for an additional five years. Mathematics, Computing & Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean said: It also provides a marker of Technology (MCT), was opened at “The plaque on this building serves The Commission, a non- exceptional quality recognised in a ceremony attended by the as a reminder to everyone, every governmental agency based in the USA. ‘Father of Computer Science’s’ time they walk through these Philadelphia, is valuable to the nephew, Sir John Dermot Turing. doors, that we draw inspiration University because it allows from a brilliant man whose life was testing of systems and a Alan Turing’s codebreaking work at tragically cut short at such a young Bletchley Park, a short distance age [41].” from the OU’s Walton Hall campus, Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Timeline 27 March 2010 5 her award in a special ceremony at Opening of Catering Hub The major refurbishment took into Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli. An ambitious new catering facility consideration the environmental at Walton Hall opened for business impact with the installation of Rhydian Thomas of NIACE Dysgu in 2010. The project was financed energy-efficient kitchen Cymru said: “We all remember from the Higher Education Funding equipment and solar panelling. teachers who inspired us in school, Council for England (HEFCE) and there are figures of inspiration capital grant. While the footprint of the building like Anne that have an equally has been increased by 25 per cent, strong impact on adult learners.” Left: The new Catering Hub its carbon footprint has remained the same. April 2010 New HQ in Belfast strengths while increasing The new headquarters of The Open Over the last year student numbers awareness of the OU brand. University in Ireland was officially have increased by more than 10 opened by Vice-Chancellor per cent in both Northern Ireland The World of Inspiring Learning Martin Bean. The OU has invested and the Republic of Ireland and was launched with a TV advert £4.5 million in a listed building with this new hub will attract even more and is supported by an interactive state of the art equipment. people throughout Ireland into website with content tailored to the higher education. visitor’s motivations. The new headquarters at 110 Victoria Street, Belfast, Right: OU in Ireland Director Rosemary accommodates 58 university staff Hamilton; Lord Mayor of Belfast who support 350 part-time associate Councillor Naomi Long; and lecturers and more than 7,500 OU Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean students throughout Ireland. June 2010 9 provide a clearer, more robust John Oates’s Vortex film Hajdú-Bihar county, north-east definition of good practice in both The first feature-length film to be Hungary, close to the Romanian the public and the private sector. co-produced by the OU has been border. previewed at the University. The University, which spends £3.5 The film, directed by John Oates, million annually on energy, achieved Filmed over a period of six months, Senior Lecturer at the OU’s Centre a 6 per cent reduction in emissions Vortex is a social documentary for Childhood, Development and – well exceeding the Carbon Trust’s feature film that shows the lives of Learning, focuses on the target of 3.7 per cent. It is among Roma families in a small village in experiences of three families and 284 organisations to hold follows their hardships the standard. Left: John Oates’ film looks at the hard- and setbacks. ships faced by Roma families in Hungary July 2010 July 2010 23 27 General Social Care Council and they were impressed that PM’s delegation to India sector in India was expanding on reapproval of social work work-based learning for OU social Martin Bean was one of just four an “extraordinary scale”, with 40 degree work students includes more Vice-Chancellors to visit India with million extra university places and The OU’s social work degree face-to-face contact than in many the Prime Minister, six cabinet 1,000 new universities needed programme has been reapproved other universities. ministers, plus other influential by 2020. for the next five years by the figures from the worlds of industry, General Social Care Council which In Scotland, the Social Work culture and sports, local He said the OU was in a position described it as “outstanding”. Renewal of Approval was government and technology. to help India improve distance successful without conditions. learning and teacher training. The inspection team commended Universities Minister David Willetts, the degree as an excellent model of who was among the delegation, engagement with all stakeholders said that the higher education Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    28 The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Financial highlights Financial highlights 2009/10 Year Ended Year Ended 31 July 2010 31 July 2009 £m £m Results, cash flows, assets and reserves Funding body grants 244.0 233.7 Tuition fees and education contracts 156.7 141.6 Research grants and contracts 17.0 15.4 Other income 29.1 24.3 Endowment and investment income 3.3 6.0 Total income 450.1 421.0 Total expenditure 424.6 411.4 Surplus for the year before taxation and exceptional items 25.5 9.6 Net cash flow from operating activities 29.2 12.9 Net returns on investments and servicing of finance 3.3 9.3 Net cash flow before Investing activities and tax 32.5 22.2 Fixed assets 182.4 178.8 Endowment assets 0.4 0.5 Net current assets 78.4 42.6 Total assets less current liabilities 261.2 221.9 Total reserves 166.1 140.0 Other key statistics Number of full-time equivalent students 83.826 78,110 Total number of students 263,735 251,639 Percentage of students satisfied with the quality of their course 943% 94% (taken from the respondents to the National Student Survey) Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University | Annual Report 2009/10 | Results for the year 29 Results for the year The Group’s results are summarised in the Financial Highlights on page 28. Total income increased by £29.1 million or 7% to £450.1 million. Funding body grants increased by £10.3 million or 4% to £244.0 million. The recurrent grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) was £191.2 million and represented 86% of all recurrent grants from the various funding bodies. It increased by £9.2 million or 5% from the total of £182.0 million in 2008/09 as a result of grant inflation and additional student numbers. The increase in recurrent grants from other funding bodies generally kept pace with inflation. Fee income increased by £15.1 million or 11% to £156.7 million. The bulk of the increase was in respect of fees paid by students, or on their behalf by their employers, in the United Kingdom, which increased by £13.1 million to £133.8 million. The overall increase results from a combination of general fee inflation and the increase in student numbers referred to above. Income from research grants and contracts increased by £1.6 million or 10% to £17.0 million, due to increased value of work funded from Research Councils and other sources. Other income increased by £4.8 million or 20% to £29.1 million. Endowment and investment income decreased by £2.7 million or 45% to £3.3 million as a result of much reduced interest rates. Expenditure increased by £13.2 million or 3% to £424.6 million. Total staff costs increased by £12.4 million or 5% to £275.2 million. £2.9 million of this increase resulted from the nationally negotiated pay awards and progression of staff up incremental pay scales, and £3.0 million from increased employer contributions to the Universities Superannuation Scheme. A further £2.4 million is the result of an early retirement scheme, launched in July 2010. The balance of £4.1 million arose from an increase and change in mix in full-time and part-time staff. Other (non-pay) operating expenses, excluding depreciation and interest, increased by £3.6 million or 3% to £137.6 million. The net result was a surplus before tax and exceptional items for the year of £25.5 million compared to £9.6 million last year. The 2009/10 surplus as a percentage of income was 6%. This highly creditable result was due to a combination of factors affecting both income and expenditure. The major improvement in the surplus arose from cost increases being held at a much lower rate than the increase in income, as a programme began to reduce costs over an extended period to meet cuts in teaching grant as a result of the previous government’s decision to end funding for students in England studying for ‘equivalent or lower qualifications’ to those they already hold, and the new coalition government’s stated intention to reduce the public expenditure deficit. The early commencement of expenditure reductions allows costs to be cut in a measured way so as to ensure that the quality of service to students is maintained, and has the beneficial effect of increasing the University’s reserves at a time of such great uncertainty and which will allow time to deal with any unexpected revenue reductions. This has been particularly important as the funding body grants for 2009/10 included £21.2 million of time-limited grants that are being phased out over the next three years. Also online: www.open.ac.uk/about/annual-report


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    The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA United Kingdom www.open.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0) 1908 274066 Fax: +44 (0) 1908 653744 For enquiries on how to support The Open University in London The Open University in the East of England The Open University: 1–11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town Cintra House, 12 Hills Road The Open University Development Office London NW1 8NP Cambridge CB2 1PF Michael Young Building Tel: +44 (0)20 7485 6597 Tel: +44 (0)1223 364721 Fax: +44 (0)20 7556 6196 Fax: +44 (0)1223 355207 Walton Hall Email: london@open.ac.uk Email: east-of-england@open.ac.uk Milton Keynes MK7 6AA The Open University in the South The Open University in Yorkshire Tel: +44 (0)1908 653786 Foxcombe Hall, Boars Hill 2 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane Fax: +44 (0)1908 638145 Oxford OX1 5HR Leeds LS1 6ED Email: fundraising@open.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1865 327000 Tel: +44 (0)113 244 4431 www.open.ac.uk/fundraising Fax: +44 (0)1865 736288 Fax: +44 (0)113 234 1862 Email: south@open.ac.uk Email: yorkshire@open.ac.uk For student enquiries in the UK: Student Registration and Enquiry Service The Open University in the South East The Open University in the North West Tel: +44 (0)845 300 6090 St James’s House, 150 London Road 351 Altrincham Road, Sharston East Grinstead RH19 1HG Manchester M22 4UN Lines are open (UK time) Tel: +44 (0)1342 327821 Tel: +44 (0)161 998 7272 08.00 to 20.00 Monday to Friday Fax: +44 (0)1342 317411 Fax: +44 (0)161 945 3356 09.00 to 17.00 Saturday Email: south-east@open.ac.uk Email: north-west@open.ac.uk Email: general-enquiries@open.ac.uk www.open.ac.uk/nextstep The Open University in the South West The Open University in the North 4 Portwall Lane Abbots Hill, Baltic Business Quarter For student enquiries in the Bristol BS1 6ND Gateshead NE8 3DF Republic of Ireland: Tel: +44 (0)117 929 9641 Tel: +44 (0)191 477 6100 Enquiry and Advice Centre in Dublin Fax: +44 (0)117 988 8067 Fax: +44 (0)191 202 6968 Tel: +353 (01) 678 5399 or Email: south-west@open.ac.uk Email: north@open.ac.uk The Open University in Ireland The Open University in the West Midlands The Open University in Wales Tel: +353 (0)28 9032 3722 66 High Street, Harborne 18 Custom House Street Email: ireland@open.ac.uk Birmingham B17 9NB Cardiff CF10 1AP www.open.ac.uk/nextstep Tel: +44 (0)121 426 1661 Tel: +44 (0)29 2047 1019 Fax: +44 (0)121 427 9484 Fax: +44 (0)29 2038 8132 For student enquiries in other Email: west-midlands@open.ac.uk Email: wales@open.ac.uk EU countries and Switzerland: Tel: +44 (0)191 2131380 The Open University in the East Midlands The Open University in Scotland Email: europe@open.ac.uk Clarendon Park, Clumber Avenue 10 Drumsheugh Gardens www.open.ac.uk/nextstep Sherwood Rise Edinburgh EH3 7QJ Nottingham NG5 1AH Tel: +44 (0)131 226 3851 Tel: +44 (0)115 962 5451 Fax: +44 (0)131 220 6730 Fax: +44 (0)115 971 5575 Email: scotland@open.ac.uk Email: east-midlands@open.ac.uk The Open University in Ireland 110 Victoria Street Belfast BT1 3GN Telephone: +44 (0)28 90245025 Fax: +44 (0)28 9053 6208 Email: ireland@open.ac.uk Produced by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and Communications Unit of The Open University, December 2010 Copyright © The Open University 2010 The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (number RC 000391), an exempt charity in England and Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (number SC 038302) SUP017661


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