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    The Open University Annual Report 2012/13


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    Contents 02 Welcome 04 Impact on the 18 Impact on business 32 Impact on the w orld individual 20 STEM: the next 3 4 Learning for everyone, 06 Massive, open and generation anyw here online 22 The internet of things 37 Delivering a global 09 The other side of 24 Skills for the future message the Raj 27 Leading the w ay 38 Open access 10 Leaders of tomorrow in the public sector 39 Building human capital 12 Face to face 28 Photo series: in Africa and Asia 13 Opening science to graduates in the learners of all ages w orkplace 14 Photo series: graduates in the w orkplace 40 In brief 4 4 Gifts to secure a better future 46 Financial highlights for 2012 /2013 48 Alumni voices 49 Council membership w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    WE HAVE IMPACT ON INDIVIDUALS, ON BUSINESS AND ON THE WORLD


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    2 Forew ord WELCOME Another year of world-changing innovation VICE-CHANCELLOR Martin Bean Whenever anyone asks me what the represented so far. Massive open of teachers and health workers. Similar best part of my job is, I don’t even online courses, or MOOCs, are changing projects are now in place in India and have to stop and think about it. Nothing the way the world of education works, Bangladesh, helping to ensure a brighter beats attending one of the 26 degree and thanks to The Open University future for countless adults and children. ceremonies held each year across the UK is right at the forefront of this So the past 12 months have been the UK and Europe. They’re a unique exciting development. another year of world-changing innovation opportunity to see and meet the people But the innovation doesn’t end by The Open University. Sometimes we’re whose worlds have been changed there. This year also saw the full roll-out first off the mark, as with OU Anywhere. by The Open University, and to tell our of OU Anywhere, making almost all our Sometimes we take an idea that’s already graduates how important it is for them undergraduate course materials available out there and build it into something to take what they’ve learned and change online in a smartphone and tablet friendly better, as with FutureLearn. But one the wider world, too. format. This project, the first of its kind thing is always assured – when the OU That’s not hyperbole – the impact anywhere in the world, allows students innovates, the world follows. we have on our students, their families, to study when and where suits them best, their employers and their communities making an OU education more accessible cannot be overstated. You just need and open than ever. to read through this report to see Our commitment to world-changing how The Open University’s innovative innovation extends to our research. approach to education makes a real Whether it’s cutting-edge work on the impact on the world in which we all live. causes of climate change or a study For more than four decades we that helps student doctors learn from have been using the latest technology their counterparts in the ancient world, to deliver the very best in teaching research is yet another area where the and learning, an approach that was OU leads the way. You can find out graphically illustrated this year with the more about some of our recent projects successful launch of FutureLearn. We throughout the report. announced our plans for the platform We’re also using our unparalleled at the end of 2012 and, as you can see expertise to solve some of the biggest on page 6, barely nine months later problems facing the developing world. the first free online courses opened for As you can read on page 39, our distance registrations. People around the globe learning programmes in Africa have have signed up, with 160 nations already trained hundreds of thousands w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    3 CHANCELLOR PRO-CHANCELLOR Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, CBE Lord Haskins of Skidby I’m coming toward the end of seven As a longstanding and passionate The past year has seen the tentative immensely happy years as the proud advocate of the value and impact of economic recovery of the UK gather Chancellor of The Open University. online learning, and its capacity to further momentum, and brought stronger growth During that time I’ve met any widen participation, I’m proud of the across a number of sectors. To meet number of exceptional tutors, personally way the OU is seizing the opportunities the challenge of driving that growth in congratulated and graduated many presented by digital technologies. an increasingly global and competitive thousands of students, and had the Equally, however, we need to market, and ensure that the UK maintains opportunity to visit inspiring departments recognise that there are many new, bold its standing in the world, it is critical that and other institutions in developed and and ambitious providers moving into the the UK population continually updates developing countries alike. online space. The OU will need to ensure its skills and expertise. I’ve experienced at first hand the that it constantly “raises its game” if it Without an educated workforce we impact the OU’s world-leading research is to remain relevant and engaging for will fail to develop the next generation of is having on individuals from all walks students faced with an increasing innovators who will be so vital to building of life. Equally, I’m proud of the extent to cornucopia of choice. our position in the global marketplace. which the OU embraces such a variety The kind of pedagogical innovation The OU remains uniquely positioned of students, particularly when, in the UK which took the OU from the fringes of to meet the requirement of continually at least, there are real concerns about the BBC schedule to a prominent place up-skilling and re-skilling the workforce. access to higher education for people on the internet will be need to be more The vast majority of our students both from disadvantaged backgrounds. focused than ever in the digital age. contribute to economic recovery by The OU has developed a sophisticated As I hope is obvious, I’ve enjoyed my continuing to work while studying, and diversity policy which, I believe, should time as Chancellor of the OU enormously. apply those skills as they learn, from the serve as a trailblazer for others across Thanks to the efforts of the hugely very first day of their studies. education and in the public sector. talented and hardworking people across Higher-level skills not only benefit I genuinely believe that learning with the institution I believe that my successor employers, but also improve the lives the OU can make a huge difference to an can face the future with an extraordinary of students and their families. Last year, individual’s opportunities with employers, degree of confidence, notwithstanding 80% of FTSE100 companies had staff on adding to the contribution they bring to the many and varied challenges that OU courses. The OU has provided staff the businesses they work for. lie ahead. training to more than 30,000 organisations, I’ve certainly enjoyed witnessing In short, I believe the OU has a more and nearly 1,000 employers have been the University’s ability to make a life- vital role than ever to play in the complex sponsoring staff on OU courses for more changing impact on the individuals who and highly competitive world that is than 10 years. We remain open to all – have studied with us. unfurling around us. no one is excluded.


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    4 Impact on the individual 92% The OU ’s student 20,374 20,550 students w ith disabilities* of OU new students started satisfaction rating, universit y w ithout standard measured by the National entry qualifications Student Survey 2013 w w w .ope n.a c .uk * Sourc e : CP& D Se pt 2 0 13 2 0 12 /13 st ude nt da t a


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    5 INDIVIDUAL MORE THAN 70% Of OU STUDENTS WORk AND STUDy


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    6 Impact on the individual Above: Luke Beaman is studying Begin programming: build your first mobile game, part of the OU’s FutureLearn offering w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    7 FutureLearn is delivering the OU’s high quality content where and when users want it, free and worldwide MASSIVE, OPEN AND ONLINE A decade and a half after The Open University made history by launching an exclusively online course, its latest “The OU’s great achievement was to make higher education open to people without qualifications, and to make it offering, FutureLearn, shows that not only accessible to people with different has the OU been ahead of the learning- abilities. That was a huge achievement,” technology curve in the past, but it remains says Professor Mike Sharples, Chair at the forefront of online education today. in Educational Technology, and the FutureLearn is the first UK-led Academic Lead for FutureLearn. “The provider of massive open online courses next step beyond that is to make it free (MOOCs), the new model for online and available to all – wherever you are, learning offering unlimited and interactive whatever device you are using.” learning to all. Wholly-owned by the The fact that FutureLearn’s CEO is OU, FutureLearn combines OU content the pioneering architect of BBC iPlayer, with that of partner universities, carrying Simon Nelson, demonstrates its other courses to enhance the learning commitment to embracing the newest experience. It enables learners all over technologies and latest thinking on the world to follow and complete courses teaching and learning. “Since I joined from top universities and institutions – FutureLearn, I’ve been absolutely clear and is entirely free. that above all, our product will be designed It takes the OU’s high-quality 100% for students,” says Nelson. “This content and first-class approach and isn’t as easy as it sounds. Our students delivery to where users are, in just one will be a broad, international group with place, rather than asking them to source diverse educational, cultural and social it. And it comes seven years after the backgrounds and differing attitudes to launch of OpenLearn, the OU’s own free, learning and technology. But by drawing online learning platform where students on more than 40 years of Open University can access both free higher-education expertise in teaching and learning at a courses and bitesize learning pieces. distance, we have an opportunity to offer The day of FutureLearn’s launch, something very different. it attracted more registrations than The “To start with, we’re looking at highly Open University had in its first year of user-focused searching and browsing, operation, with learners from more than so people can find exactly the right 160 countries signing up. course for them. Teaching and learning


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    8 Impact on the individual will be powered by the OU’s experience and will present material through a blend University, The University of Nottingham, The Open University, Queen’s University LEARNING ON THE GO of video and other media, combined with Belfast, University of Reading, The MyOU, which will launch next year, will opportunities for social learning with University of Sheffield, University of provide a personalised, customisable others who are studying the same course.” Southampton, University of Strathclyde, virtual learning environment for paying FutureLearn is at the forefront Trinity College Dublin, and The University students, working across the whole of a new wave of MOOCs. They are a of Warwick, as well as the British Council, range of devices. completely new way of learning, and British Library and British Museum. “Students will be able to browse are being described both as education’s New partners are joining all the forums or do quizzes on their phone saviour and its nemesis. Like all well- time and tens of thousands of learners while they’re on the train, then known industry disrupters, such as worldwide have signed up. As Professor seamlessly switch to their laptops Amazon for publishing and Napster for Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor at the to write essays,” says Niall Sclater, record labels, the underlying concept is University of Southampton, says: “We MyOU Project Manager and Director of simple: university courses online, for free, are delighted to join the OU as one of Learning and Teaching. “Everything for anyone, anywhere. While there are the foundation partners in FutureLearn. will be designed to hit them at the right no qualifications at the end, people can We are a university with a strong global points when they log on. They will use MOOCs for continuing professional outlook and can foresee many potential see what their module is, the different development, general learning, or for benefits to making our educational things they will be required to do as assessing prior, or work-based, learning. resources and materials available and part of that module, and a calendar Yet if millions around the world are accessible to people around the world with links to the different content – all to benefit from MOOCs, they need to as part of this excellent initiative for UK of which will be available as e-books. be effective. Engaging people who aren’t higher education.” Plus, we will bring the library far more paying, and therefore have nothing to into their core online experience.” lose by failing to complete a course, is Changing education Key to MyOU will be OU about much more than simply talking Anywhere, a project to convert all at them. FutureLearn goes way beyond “These free courses are already changing existing texts to ebooks or PDFs and YouTube lectures, or hastily transcribed things,” says Patrick McAndrew, Acting make them, together with modular Director Institute of Educational audiovisual resources, available to Technology. “Why should we insist that students via an app. “The OU has people come to buildings for a particular always been at the forefront of tracking “We are reinventing period of time and work through things, when there are more flexible ways? technological developments and using them to optimise our students’ study They are breaking down geographical experiences,” says Nicholas Watson, ourselves in terms boundaries. Education is about change. We shouldn’t be trying to stand still.” Director of Corporate and Learning Environments. “OU Anywhere is the of what ‘openness’ “There are going to be 1.4 million tablets in schools in a few years time,” first step down the road of making the OU a truly mobile university. It has means” says Mark Lester, Head of UK Education Partnerships at FutureLearn. “My one- also created the opportunity to think afresh about how we put together and year-old uses one. It’s second nature to deliver our teaching and learning for her to scroll down. People learning in the best effect in a mobile world.” future are going to be much more used notes. The internet may be relatively to tablets and clouds. They’ll expect to recent but “blended learning” – delivering do things anywhere. If things are going information through varied media in to be disrupted, be the disrupter. If the different ways – is a school of thought world is going to change, be the one that the OU has pioneered since its who’s changing it.” inception nearly 50 years ago. Whatever the future holds for More than 20 universities are online learning, there’s no doubt that already on board with FutureLearn, the OU will play a significant part. “Over and the full list of partners comprises: the past 10 years, I’ve come to realise University of Auckland, University that we got lucky with our name,” says of Bath, University of Birmingham, Professor Martin Weller, Professor of University of Bristol, Cardiff University, Educational Technlogy. “The University University of East Anglia, University of the Airwaves would have dated of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, somewhat! Openness has become University of Glasgow, King’s College an increasingly important topic: open- London, Lancaster University, University access publishing, open tools online, of Leeds, University of Leicester, open educational resources. We are just University of Liverpool, Loughborough reinventing ourselves in terms of what University, Monash University, Newcastle ‘openness’ means.” w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    9 Right: Twin exhibitions demonstrating the depth of Anglo-Indian history included images such as women’s rights activist Sophia Duleep Singh selling copies of ‘Suffragette’ outside Hampton Court Palace. THE OTHER Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland SIDE OF THE RAJ Archival research from the OU examines the political, cultural and social context of a multicultural Britain Essential knowledge for every learning materials for schools and a the prestigious Times Higher Education British diplomat coming to India.” dedicated website, aims to stimulate Awards 2013, in the International That is how Foreign Office officials debates on heritage and deepen Collaboration of the Year category. in India described a new exhibition cross-cultural understanding between Professor Nasta is quick to point out that draws on extensive research by Britain and India. that the exhibitions have an immediate the OU’s Faculty of Arts, proving the The activities have directed attention impact on our everyday life – particularly University’s research continues to to the depth of research underpinning in Britain’s current political climate. “People have an impact right around the world. the project, and the many stories of don’t know much about the extent of The twin exhibitions, “Beyond the political, social and cultural consequence Indian involvement during the world wars, Frame: India in Britain” and “Beyond that Making Britain uncovered. “It’s nor of their civil participation in Britain, the Frame: Indian British Connections”, a story the audience didn’t know before such as the ambulance corps, air raid increased public awareness of the I started the project,” says Professor patrols – many Indians took part in that,” depth of South Asian contributions to Susheila Nasta, principal investigator, she explains. “It shifts the feeling about contemporary British life. Drawing on “and it’s an important story.” immigrants and migration to participation archival research from the three-year In India the tour attracted more rather than just a problem,” she says. OU project “Making Britain: South than 6,000 visitors, while the project’s “It’s also a good way of bringing together Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, UK website received up to 3,000 academic expertise with curators at 1870-1950”, the touring exhibition, unique visits every month. The public the British Library and with the alongside a catalogue, talks, workshops, engagement project was shortlisted for visual material.”


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    10 Impact on the individual LEADERS OF OU graduates bring an invaluable level of commitment, skill and experience to the organisations they work for, making a very real impact. Our graduates are known for their drive, and their passion for their chosen area of study. But TOMORROW many of them are also making themselves indispensible within the companies they work for – not only enhancing their own credentials, but also bringing an invaluable level of commitment, skill and experience to their workplace. From future-proofing careers to nurturing new businesses, How companies can take advantage of learning with The Open University helps people get the the OU’s managers in the making most out of their working lives – and put the most in. Above: Jamie Campbell is the founder of d3t and studied an MBA at The Open University w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    11 writing on the wall. While working his in 2012. “I love it, it’s where I want to be,” way up from computer programmer to she says. “I don’t think I’d have been technical director, he’d already earned promoted without a degree; the third- an MBA with the OU a year earlier level qualification shows you have a to prepare him for an uncertain future. certain level of understanding, and I’d Jamie Campbell “Digital games changed the market not have been so confident otherwise. Founder, d3t for everyone,” he explains. “Knowing I’m not sure I would have been able to Studied an MBA things were changing, the decision to do my job without the OU degree.” By the time he was made redundant by do an MBA was deliberate. I wanted to a major American video games studio make myself more employable in a very in 2011, Jamie Campbell had seen the volatile industry, and demonstrate that I was willing to learn and adapt.” Jamie hoped the MBA would help him succeed as a freelance and gradually build a business model. It gave him the skills and confidence to Sandra McDowell immediately found his own company, Acting Domiciliary Area Manager d3t, along with another co-owning at South Eastern Health and Social director and an employee. “It was a huge Care Trust (Northern Ireland) step, but an opportunity I couldn’t pass Studied Health and Social Care up,” he says. “Where we are now proves Sandra McDowell puts her workplace it was the right thing to do, and I can success down to studying with the OU, attribute that decision in part to the MBA.” after a back injury forced her to rethink her career as a community care worker. Beginning with the Return to Learn programme offered by the OU and Unison, Britain’s biggest trade union, she completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health and Social Care in 2012, while working full-time Mary O’Sullivan and bringing up her two sons. This HR manager, GE Healthcare allowed her to stay in a field she loves Studied Psychology and gave her opportunities for promotion Mary O’Sullivan says that studying with – and her OU qualification means she’s the OU gave her the confidence and now in a position to inspire and lead the qualifications she needed to fulfill her next generation of care workers. “I’m in potential at work. Now an HR manager my fifties now, and I’m working with a with GE Healthcare, her OU degree lot of younger domiciliary care workers,” in Psychology allowed her to approach says Sandra. “It lets them see they can HR in a way that led to success. do it too.” “I started at GE Healthcare 20 In a demanding, but often years ago in operations and moved undervalued profession, making sure her into finance and payroll, but I quickly staff members believe in themselves is realised it was the people side of crucial to delivering great care to clients. the business I loved, rather than the “I try to be a proactive manager, to lead numbers,” she remembers. “And by example. It’s important that all staff when I arrived in HR, I was actively feel valued and know their job is valuable, encouraged to find a qualification to and education and training comes into enhance my career progression.” that,” she explains. She knew she needed a course “It pains me when I hear them say that inspired her, so when a friend who ‘we’re only care workers’, because they’re was studying Psychology gave her on the front line and the first face many some textbooks, it all fell into place. “If service users see. I’ve done that job and I was going to study something at home the reputation of the Trust, as well as our related to what I was doing for eight jobs higher up, depend on what they hours a day at work – and with two small deliver. I give to the Trust 110% to achieve kids – I had to choose something that a good service, and I aim to make it excited me,” she says. somewhere care staff are proud to work. Mary spread her degree over six I believe they have a good manager in me years, during which time she gained because of the training and knowledge a promotion to HR manager, graduating I gained through the OU.”


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    12 Impact on the individual fACE L ike all the 6,397 tutors at The Open Lorna’s final essay earned her the University engaging students face to highest mark in her group – success she face, Yasar Eltaf has taught dozens of attributes to her tutor. “We’re still in touch, students and read hundreds of essays. and when I got my degree he said he was But his first student, Lorna Coelho, really proud that I’d finished the course. TO and her first essay sticks in his mind. He’s part of my success, because without “I remember her first essay to this day him I wouldn’t have my degree.” because it needed plenty of work!” Yasar believes the credit is all hers. says Yasar. “The passion in it was terrific, “It’s flattering that she puts some of her but she wrote it like a short story.” success down to me, but she made fACE Lorna, who was working as a cook great sacrifices for her education,” he in a nursing home when she started her says. “She got the bug and she enjoyed OU course in health and social care, was learning. You have to with the OU, devastated to learn that her essay wasn’t because students are responsible for up to scratch. “I had only been here their own study. for three years and was struggling with “A successful relationship fosters Distance learning at the English, my third language,” she says. ambition, but it’s a two-way street,” “In the Philippines I was always a student continues Yasar. “But most importantly, OU is anything but distant, who got distinctions. I wanted to quit.” she had a passion for learning, and as this tutor and student It was a call from her tutor that that’s a vital prerequisite for success.” made the difference. Over the next three Now a senior care assistant, Lorna partnership shows years, through the sort of face-to-face wants to continue studying and become meetings that the OU specialises in, a mental health nurse. And for her tutor, as well as emails and phone calls, the Lorna’s success is its own reward. “It’s pair developed a rewarding working a privilege and a pleasure to stimulate a Above: OU tutor Yasar Eltaf with his relationship that helped turn Lorna’s love of learning in so many people,” says student Lorna Coelho passion into academic achievement. Yasar. “She is the most striking example.” w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    13 Professor Eileen Scanlon OPENING SCIENCE TO Associate Director (Research and Innovation) LEARNERS OF ALL AGES Institute of Educational Technology Professor Eileen Scanlon, on behalf IET we are contributing by conducting of The Open University’s Institute of research on technology-supported inquiry Educational Technology (IET), received learning in science. the first ever Regius Professorship For a teacher, it’s an exciting in Open Education in January 2013. prospect. There are so many challenges Just two other Regius Professorship in teaching science and engaging awards have been made in the past children. We think it’s important to connect century, and IET is one of only twelve children’s experiences in the classroom university departments ever to have with learning in other settings and to received this prestigious accolade, support inquiry learning. We have developed bestowed to mark the Queen’s software, called nQuire, which helps to Diamond Jubilee. design and run enquiries at school, at home and on the move. It guides students I t has been 50 years since the idea of a “university of the air” – The Open University – was first mentioned. We feel throughout the stages and phases of enquiry and allows teachers to design activities and support their students. It that our work in educational technology can be used to support learners through has made a critical contribution over the process of developing and testing the decades, so I was thrilled this year a hypothesis and help them through that the University was awarded a Regius Professorship in Open Education, and Accessible science the enquiry. For example, we have piloted a delighted to be the first holder of this chair. It’s a great recognition of the strides is an important project with a school to examine the urban heat island effect in Milton Keynes and we’ve made in this area. I’m proud that my unit has played a part in this award, feature of the work Northampton. Working with teachers using a combination of mobile and sensor which recognises the OU’s excellence technology, we have both supported and in open education. The notion of accessible, engaging of the OU extended the activity. Mobile technology – netbooks, science is an important feature of the sensors, voice recorders and data probes work of The Open University, not just for – allows you to connect the classroom its students but also for the wider public. and remotely controlled equipment. with fieldwork and home study. Teachers It’s important that people see how science These days you don’t need to be in a found it very worthwhile and students is meaningful and relevant to their lives. laboratory to connect to real scientific loved learning in this way. We worked Part of the impact that my unit, the Institute equipment; students can operate an with two schools on this project, but of Educational Technology (IET), makes astronomical telescope or a virtual many others have expressed an interest is to conduct research in technology- microscope from their computer, from in this approach and the software is now enhanced learning – not technology for anywhere in the world. available freely on the web. its own sake, but technology that inspires One eye-catching example is Open education is a huge UK both teachers and learners alike. Treezilla, an ambitious project to map all success story – it is important to Take the work of the OpenScience of Britain’s trees and record vital data make good quality learning resources Laboratory, a joint initiative between about tree disease and the environmental more widely available. Communication the Faculty of Science and the Wolfson benefits that trees provide. The technology has given us a platform Foundation. It is transforming approaches OpenScience Lab has developed apps so for teaching at distance and on a large to practical science – how science can that people can contribute to this reseach scale. It reaches more people and it be taught online with virtual experiments project using mobile technology. In the transforms learning.


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    14 Ray Taylor Prison officer Ray never LLM Masters of Law , imagined he’d one day sw ap started in 2012 cell keys for a desk . Now London at the National Offender Management Service, Ray says: “My degree has given a new dimension to everything I do.”


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    15 Belinda Daniels Belinda is about to realise Open degree, including her dream of being a teacher. English Literature, “The OU has opened my eyes graduated in 2013 to the sorts of opportunities Kingston upon Thames that might be available to me in the future.”


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    16 David Tait David’s design course BSc (Hons) Design taught him the value of fresh and Innovation, thinking. “The focus was on started in 2010 innovative w ays to approach Edinburgh problems, and that w as instrumental in helping me get a new job.”


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    17 Shane Jordan Shane is focused on the Understanding social outcomes of food, Human Nutrition, w ith a book out next studied in 2012 year. “The course opened Bristol my mind to the social problems of nutrition in low income families.”


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    18 Impact on business 77% of students said they 75% of OU students are in 30,000 employers sponsored w ere studying to employment six months staff to undertake study increase their career or after graduation* w ith the OU employment prospects w w w .ope n.a c .uk * Sourc e : DLH E, 2 0 11/12


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    19 BUSINESS 80% Of fTSE 100 HAVE DEVELOPED STAff WITH THE OU


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    20 Impact on business STEM: THE NEXT GENERATION Dr Natalie Starkey says that the OU’s excellence in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – is producing world-class scientists on a global scale D r Natalie Starkey’s parents may not have seen the destruction of their lawn as a scientific breakthrough people in STEM subjects, and print and broadcast media’s go-to scientist for stories on asteroids and meteors. that would help unveil the secrets of the universe, but there is a chance that The OU is Europe’s But she has never forgotten her own youthful trial-and-error experiments, and the death of their grass could yet play a small part in landmark discoveries. largest provider it was her passion for chemistry that first brought her to The Open University. Her The young Dr Starkey turned the turf from green to brown with her DIY of online STEM research has since seen her working on moon rock, comet and asteroid samples, volcano kit, taking unusual first steps on and she credits The Open University’s the road to a career as a geologist. And it is just this kind of exploration and programmes investment in technology as having made that possible. experimentation that The Open University “I was using an instrument for my hopes to nurture in students, whether PhD in Edinburgh called a secondary through its excellence in STEM (science, ionisation mass spectrometer, or SIMS,” technology, engineering and maths) she says. “You get really precise results teaching, or through the cutting-edge subjects, particularly through the from very small samples and the OU online OpenScience Laboratory. OpenScience Laboratory that will allow uses a new, highly advanced generation The OU is Europe’s largest students to carry out authentic practical of these instruments. If you want to do provider of university-level online STEM science activities online, the OU also world-leading science you need world- programmes; its innovation and research influences teaching developments leading instruments. We can get out some includes all relevant aspects of pedagogy worldwide through its partnership with amazing data and rival labs in the US with a strong emphasis on e-learning. academics from many countries. or Japan.” Its eSTEeM unit brings together STEM Dr Starkey is now Postdoctoral She may be the current face of academics to promote innovation, Research Associate in Planetary the OU’s depth of excellence in STEM scholarship and enterprise in open and and Space Sciences at the OU, an subjects, but the innovative work the distance learning. ambassador for STEMNET, a UK University continues to do ensures there As well as leading the way in the Government-funded organisation that will be many more groundbreaking stories use of electronic media in teaching STEM creates opportunities to inspire young to come, from others just like Dr Starkey. w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    21 Above: Dr Natalie Starkey is Postdoctoral Research Associate in Planetary and Space Sciences at the OU


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    22 Impact on business THE INTERNET Of THINgS New device puts the OU at the centre of a digital revolution Above: Graeme George, teacher at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury, with his computer science students w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    23 I t looks as though it could have been run up in a school electronics class: a small blue circuit board, complete with sockets, across Britain at the forefront of the next wave of the digital revolution, dubbed the “Internet of Things”. remarkable potential of the Internet of Things beyond its own cohort of nearly 11,000 students who have enrolled LEDs and two features helpfully marked The term refers to technology that in TU100 since it launched in October “button” and “sound”. Stamped in the is capable of interacting with us, and 2011 – and into schools and businesses. middle is The Open University’s instantly with other devices. As of May 2013, that’s Take the University’s decision this recognisable logo. At a time when we’re more than 10 billion wirelessly connected summer to share the content of the used to technology that’s packaged in devices around the globe. By the end TU100 course pack as a teaching sleek, brushed aluminium and fronted by of the decade, predictions put the figure resource. That’s because when the new shiny glass, it appears perversely simple. at 30 billion. school year begins in 2014, schoolchildren Yet this modest device – the The SenseBoard works by allowing in England and Wales will be expected SenseBoard – has the potential to make users to explore some of the different to master comprehensive computing skills a huge impact. It is putting the OU, its ways technology can sense us and the under a revised curriculum. In Northern students, and schoolteachers and pupils world (such as sound, touch, temperature Ireland, the Department of Education is planning a new A-level in computing and software development. One teacher who has seen how the OU’s approach to the Internet of Things Future applications enthuses younger learners is Graeme George, Subject Leader for Computer seem limited only Science and Informatics at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury. by our imagination “My school became involved with The Open University when I noticed that students were keen to understand not just what a computer does, but how it works,” he says. “It allows them to see a purpose to the theory and practical knowledge and light) and by letting them program they are learning.” it to respond accordingly. Future applications of the Internet of Things Engaging businesses founded on these basic principles seem limited only by our imagination. Already In another initiative, the OU has teamed patented, for example, is a wireless up with major business partners including medicine bottle that detects if the volume chip producers Intel and Xively Cloud of liquid hasn’t gone down and texts you Services to engage with schools beyond a reminder to take your dose. It won a the TU100 material. They have formed the global award for healthcare innovation Distance consortium, which is devising an earlier this year. “Internet of School Things” project to carry It’s visionary stuff. As James the concept directly into the classroom. Rainsborough, who studied the Internet of Among eight teams being Things on The Open University’s TU100 backed by the UK Government-funded course “My Digital Life” explains: “I not Technology Strategy Board, only Distance only gained a ‘proper’ understanding of and one other “have specific educational IT and computing, but the course also components,” according to the board’s helped me conceptualise several ideas spokesperson, Simon Napper. The eight about where technology is heading.” groups will, he says, together explore Course Co-chair John Woodthorpe “how collaboration can make the Internet points out that among those studying the of Things ecosystem more effective.” Internet of Things through TU100 have Distance completed an initial pilot with been apprentices from the multinational eight schools this summer, and will companies Capgemini and Visa Europe. be rolling out the project through 2014. Course graduate Rainsborough works in We’re all already immersed in the finance, and says that besides improving Internet of Things. But we’re only just his own skills and understanding, the beginning to realise how our connected course has given him “an insight into the phones and computers “are useful not sort of business I might invest in when just for looking up facts on Wikipedia tech people come knocking on my door to and for social networking,” as Gerd raise money.” Kortuem, Professor of Computing and Now, The Open University is Communications, says. “They are tools rolling out several strategies to take the with which to understand the world.”


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    24 Impact on business SkILLS fOR THE fUTURE The OU is working closely with employers to make sure the workforce of tomorrow has the skills to make a difference T he needs of the UK’s employers are complex and ever-changing – therefore, so are the skills they require. and maintain our economic edge, we need to make it easier for our workers to develop higher skills so that businesses And employers don’t just want their can remain competitive. We’re working workers to have a standard qualification. with industry to determine demand, They also need industry-specific understand skills gaps and deliver the practical skills, delivered in a way that kind of qualifications that can really help allows employees to earn and learn at to drive economic growth.” the same time. After all, the impact of The impact of effective upskilling acquiring the right skills can be massive through the OU for employees – and – for employers, for employees and for therefore, by extension, for employers – the wider economy. is huge. Organisations very quickly see That’s where The Open University – changes in behaviour and activity once with more than 40 years’ experience they have sponsored people on OU of delivering flexible learning – steps in. modules, says Steve Bradley, Corporate Working in partnership with employers Development Manager. “Employers across the UK, it’s equipping more say that if they walk into a group of adults with high level skills than any people, they can tell who’s done the OU other provider. Four out of five FTSE 100 Certificate in Management. They act companies have sponsored staff on OU differently, they ask the right questions. programmes, and it is one of the biggest They think more methodically, and providers of MBAs in Europe. It works the people that they manage notice an across the public and private sectors; improvement because their management the OU is the UK’s largest developer of skills are better.” nurses, paramedics and social workers in The key to the OU’s upskilling work higher education institutions, for example. is tailoring its solutions to employer needs. “Some employers have asked Perhaps an employer needs an entirely me what happens if they educate new qualification? The OU can deliver a worker only to see them leave,” says here, too. Take the UK’s nuclear industry, Martin Bean, the OU’s Vice-Chancellor. which employs more than 40,000 people “Surely the bigger question is what will and generates almost a fifth of the happen if you don’t educate your staff country’s electricity. As older nuclear and they stay? If we’re going to rebuild power plants were decommissioned and w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    25 Above: Magnox workers Michael Lunt and Kandiece Manyan are studying with the OU


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    26 Impact on business new ones started to be built, the industry found that it needed new ways to equip context of the nuclear industry – this is a key differential.” DEVELOPING LEADERS engineers with the necessary skills. There’s little doubt that the UK’s skills In the transport industry, flexibility is “Employers were having skills gap is a huge issue, and it is a problem crucial. Ground passenger transport issues with graduate entrants,” explains that spans professions. According company First Group plc has around Jean Llewellyn, Chief Executive of to the CBI, the UK will fail to close its 120,000 employees throughout the the National Skills Academy for Nuclear chronic skills gap if it relies on traditional UK and North America and annual (NSA Nuclear) and Open University university courses. revenues of more than £6 billion. It collaboration. “They were not getting Crucially, the skills gap has real- has sponsored students at the OU for ‘work-ready’ graduates with the skills world effects. If UK companies don’t more than 10 years, and now offers a they needed – specifically around have the expertise to launch new graduate programme including a fully communication, project management, products or offer new services, their funded MBA from the OU. team leadership, commercial awareness international competitors will. How best The nature of the transport and some technical nuclear skills.” to close the gap? It’s not simple. More industry means that graduate managers With its UK-wide reach, expertise than 70% of the 2020 working-age work shifts and travel frequently. The in engineering, awarding-body population is already working. They can’t OU’s mix of learning, both face-to-face accreditation and very high accessibility, take time out to train, and they may not and online, means that staff can fit the OU was the ideal partner to design have entry-level qualifications necessary their upskilling around their work and and deliver the Certificate of Nuclear for the next training step. life commitments. Professionalism (CoNP). It’s a seven- A traditional classroom course module qualification set exclusively in the Closing the gap every Wednesday night would just not work for First Group, explains graduate NHS Wales Informatics Service, Swansea recruitment manager Kay Devine. University and the OU recently worked “Once our staff have completed the The impact of together on the health informatics development pathway using the OU’s OU MBA, combined with the experience they’ve already gained with us, it puts upskilling is huge foundation degree in Combined Professional Studies. The pathway adapts them in a great position to progress more quickly,” says Devine. “It is a an existing foundation degree framework great way to develop our leadership for both employees for the specific NHS informatics context. It’s a hugely important area. Patient records succession plan and to retain our talented employees.” and employers moving from paper to electronic brings up a whole new set of issues – such as privacy – and demands an up-to-date skill set. “The NHS employers are already nuclear context and developed entirely seeing that it’s building confidence in from employer responses. their employees,” says Mark Palmer, a “The feedback we have been getting member of the OU in Wales development from employers is that the development team, who worked on devising the of ‘soft’ skills in the nuclear context course. “At least one student has gained has been very powerful,” says Llewellyn. promotion through the confidence that “We had our first students pilot the course the training gave her. It’s building loyalty in 2012 and so far in 2013, we have had and retention, as well. Employees can 60 people register for the course. For a see that their career isn’t going to stall specialist area like nuclear, this is a very because they don’t have a qualification.” promising start.” The flexibility of the course has also made Nuclear management and a significant contribution to encouraging operations contractor Magnox has so far greater female engagement in a previously enrolled more than 30 graduates on the male-dominated field. course, and Learning and Development In a rapidly changing economic Manager Mandy Walker is just one of the climate, few things are certain. But there’s employers singing its praises: “The CoNP no doubt that closing the UK’s skills forms a major part in an accelerated gap can only have a positive outcome. professional development programme “Our mission is to be ‘open to people, for our high-potential graduates. What places and ideas’,” says the OU’s Vice- makes the programme different to others Chancellor Martin Bean. “We’re here to is its ability to support us in developing help today’s workplaces grow, develop, and instilling ‘nuclear professionalism’ and achieve success.” From the nuclear within the graduates. This is achieved industry to the NHS, employers and because all of the modules have been the OU are ensuring that skills really do developed, and are delivered, within the make a difference. w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    27 Professor Jean Hartley LEADING THE WAY IN Professor in Public Leadership Department of Public Leadership THE PUBLIC SECTOR and Social Enterprise, Open University Business School H ere at The Open University, a committed group of academics within the Business School’s Department Our work sometimes takes us into difficult areas, analysing tragedies such as the unnecessary deaths of patients of Public Leadership and Social in hospitals, working out how to prevent Enterprise (PuLSE) are researching this happening again, and advising the spectrum of public and third- the government on how to improve sector organisations. patient safety. Through this process, OU Public leaders are pivotal in supporting academics influence a wide range staff and in helping them improve patient of public bodies – from prisons, police care. They have to find ways to inspire forces and hospitals, to local authorities staff and communicate what healthcare and central government – and all kinds can achieve, and to encourage all parties of leaders, including chief executives, to perform at their best. politicians, doctors, public managers, My latest research examined the trade union officials, church leaders “political astuteness” skills of more and citizens. than 1,000 senior and mid-level public This work really matters. Great public servants in the UK, Australia and New services need great leadership. And great Zealand. We looked at leaders working leadership requires a better understanding not only with elected politicians, but also of what kinds of leadership the public sector requires. If you try and solve Our work has a real- with a wide range of stakeholders such as partner agencies, business, the media problems in too simple a way – changing leaders, for example – this can cause world impact and and the public. Politics is sometimes seen as a problems elsewhere. I became fascinated with public leadership when I began can help to create dirty word to be avoided by professionals, but those we interviewed have a positive action research with a large local authority understanding of its purpose – it is key that was facing the challenge of a major restructure and needing to forge a a better society to their success as managers in resolving conflicts and getting work done while new identity. It was intriguing, with many recognising the formal authority of different viewpoints and agendas. elected politicians. It takes an exceptional leader to negotiate with vigour, and cannot afford Political astuteness involves not only relish the sheer complexity of some public to shy away from conflict. personal and interpersonal skills but also problems. From the global financial crisis This is where the OU comes in. “reading” people and situations, building to climate change, improving healthcare, We research how leaders actually lead, alignment and alliances, and having a running a fair tax system and rehabilitating in what are often complex and contentious sense of strategic direction and scanning. prisoners, not everyone will agree circumstances. Public leaders need Our findings are particularly relevant on how to tackle such challenges. And to lead within a democratic context. and timely, given that the roles of, and governments and public services often It’s not just about running an effective relationships between, public servants can’t solve these problems alone, so organisation – there’s a societal and moral and politicians are the focus of several leaders may have to involve business dimension, and their achievements need current UK policy debates. partners or community groups, or to be for the public good. You can’t lead Countries without good government encourage citizens to change their simply by passing laws or issuing a diktat. and public services struggle economically behaviour. Alongside the necessary You need to enthuse, negotiate and and socially. I find it incredibly satisfying softer collaborative skills, public leaders inspire to get citizens, businesses and that my work has a real-world impact and need to know how to be tough, how to communities on board. can help to create a better society.


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    28 Jamie Whysall “There’s no way I would Environmental Studies, be in this position w ithout graduated in 2013 the OU,” says Jamie, w ho Peak District added seven years of study to existing management and voluntary experience and secured his “dream job” w ith Natural England.


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    29 Emma Sargent Over 12 months Emma BSc (Hons), has had a fifth child and graduated in 2012 completed a third of her North Wales degree on her w ay to becoming a teacher. “It’s been full on, but I can’t recommend it enough.”


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    30 Freddie Lavender As a teacher trainer in the BA Education, Seventies, and part of the graduated in 1973 first group of OU graduates, Bedford Freddie credits his OU course for making him a “different and better teacher”.


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    31 Amanda Davidson Her OU studies gave Amanda BA (Hons) in Social Work , a fresh lease of life as an graduated in 2013 education welfare officer. Belfast “I’ve got more confidence now ; it ’s having a really positive impact on the families that I deal w ith.”


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    32 Impact on the w orld 500k teachers and students 1500 young w omen have 7m dow nloads of OU on from 10 African enrolled on the iTunes U from outside countries are using Malaw i Access into the UK materials produced Teaching project by Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    33 THE WORLD WE HAVE STUDENTS fROM MORE THAN 130 COUNTRIES


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    34 Impact on the w orld LEARNING FOR EVERYONE, ANYWHERE Whether or not you’re enrolled on a course, I magine an education provider with more than five million learners sitting in on lessons each year. Now imagine them on YouTube (where 85% of viewers of OU content are from outside the UK). For most, that knowledge will simply enrich seated not in a lecture hall but on trains or their lives. But for 10% of those visiting the OU is a force for buses, wearing headphones and looking OpenLearn, for example, it will lead to educational change at a mobile phone as they commute; or a formal enquiry about advanced study in front of a home computer, with family with The Open University. members peering over their shoulders. “One thing we’re really excited about They may be in Dublin, Denver or Dubai, with YouTube is that the demographic and more than half are outside the profile of those who find us there is so United Kingdom. wide and varied,” says Andrew Law, This is the reality of The Open Director of the University’s Open Media University’s free learning offering, Unit. “We’re reaching millions of people through which the OU shares its each year. There’s no logging in, no expertise with millions around the globe joining a club. That’s because the OU who are not formally enrolled students. charter says it’s our job to engage the And technology is continually extending public with learning. And my definition the ways in which the University engages of the public? Anybody. Anybody who with the public. That’s because The Open wants to learn.” University’s mission to educate the public and enhance lives isn’t just about using University of the air the internet to “push” out content to users. It’s also about building networks and It’s no coincidence that Law invokes databases that “pull” people in, inviting The Open University’s 1969 charter them to contribute their own experience, when describing its digital offerings. curiosity and expertise. That’s because although the internet as In doing so, it opens a door into we know it wasn’t dreamed of back then, further education for many who might the essence of the OU’s identity as “a never otherwise have found their way university of the air” was enshrined in its through. They are accessing OU content very beginnings. But decades before via the the University’s bespoke website the University’s official genesis, the BBC Right: Professor Jonathan Silvertown OpenLearn (which had more than Director of Education, JC Stobart, wrote is spearheading the iSpot project, five million visitors in 2012/13), iTunes U a memo in 1926 advocating the creation which encourages the general public to identify and share images of the (which has seen more than 63 million of a “wireless university”. That was natural world. downloads of OU material to date), and “wireless” as in “radio”, of course, but w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    35


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    36 Impact on the w orld today the concept has come full circle, with content not only disseminated to The Open University’s invitation to the public not only to learn and consume, WORLD-CLASS students and the public but submitted but also to teach and share, is present RESOURCE by them over wireless internet. in two complementary projects related Take iSpot, a groundbreaking to reading and listening (see box, right). The Reading and Listening Experience website for sharing images and At the heart of the Reading and Listening databases (RED and LED) have sightings reports from the natural world Experience databases (RED and both won funding from the Arts and – everything from birds and butterflies to LED respectively), which are attracting Humanities Research Council of trees and fungi – that was created by OU overseas scholars interested in £800,000 apiece. As RED Research Professor of Ecology Jonathan Silvertown. developing their own national equivalents, Associate Dr Edmund King explains, The premise is simple. If you’ve spotted is what RED Reasearch Associate Dr these two initiatives “collect any an unfamiliar species, you upload a Edmund King describes as “a belief in piece of evidence that exists anywhere” photograph to the site, noting where and ‘history from below’ and the intellectual of people reading or listening. when it was seen. It’s then identified by a powers of ordinary people.” So if you’ve come across a piece fellow iSpot user who may live anywhere A further database initiative is of text that contains a description of in the world. You get your identification proceeding in partnership with other an individual reading or listening to and the iSpot database gets one more organisations that have a mission music, you can go to the RED or LED piece of information that helps build to educate and delight: museums and homepage and enter the text itself and up a global map of species distribution. galleries. The OU Open Arts Archive, a description of it, including such “iSpot grew out of an idea that headed by Professor Gill Perry, captures, details as date and location. Private we should turn the distance between stores and shares one-off events such as and unpublished sources are especially students from a liability for the OU into curator’s talks, artist interviews, seminars prized by the scholars, and the an asset,” explains Professor Silvertown. and study days. The result is an unrivalled contributions join a huge, searchable “Nobody had tried this before, and it resource for those studying with the online database of similar records, wasn’t at all obvious that it would work.” University, she says, but “we’re also a resource valued by researchers from Fortunately, others saw the promise reaching not just our student constituency, across the spectrum, including from in his crowd-sourced science, and with but way beyond.” The archive has had many other universities. a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, iSpot visitors from more than 100 countries. The public is essential to the success of the databases, says Dr Complementary offers Helen Barlow, Research Associate The OU’s mission Dr Caroline Ogilvie, the OU’s Head of on LED. “They will be able to help us in a number of ways, for example by Broadcast, points out that the university submitting sources we don’t know to educate and doesn’t just drive flagship documentary series such as Frozen Planet, but about and would never otherwise be able to find: things like family letters enhance lives isn’t also formats that will reach different audiences, such as 2013’s hugely and unpublished diaries.” just about pushing successful Stargazing Live and Airport Live on BBC, or Health Check on the World Service. When these programmes out content also include a “call to action” – an invitation to find out more – up to half a million viewers a year will follow it up by visiting OU sites online. was born. (“It was going to be called For some of those, that journey will the Biodiversity Observatory,” admits lead them all the way to a formal degree its creator, “but I quickly realised we course. Mr Niall Sclater, the University’s needed a better name for it.”) Director of Learning and Teaching, Today, iSpot’s 30,000 users have says the OU’s formal and non-formal made more than 275,000 observations offers have always been complementary. of 18,000 species, and 96% of all But the future brings yet another submissions are identified. “Sometimes innovation: MOOCs and FutureLearn, people ask me why iSpot is run by hybrids between the in-your-own-time The Open University rather than a big opportunities offered by OpenLearn museum or wildlife organisation,” says and the database projects, and a full, Professor Silvertown. “The reason is accredited degree course. simple: iSpot is not just about learning “Wherever people are, that’s for our students and users. It is also a where we want to be, offering them ways test bed for new educational technology to learn,” says the Open Media Unit’s and a laboratory in which we can learn Andrew Law. “That’s what The Open about learning.” University does.” w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    37 DELIVERING W e’re used to seeing images of of multinationals in Zambia and the poverty on our television screens, privatisation of education in China, the but a new series of films produced by series featured a diverse range of voices A GLOBAL The Open University and the BBC has put the topic back on the agenda at from around the world and kickstarted a new debate about contemporary poverty. MESSAGE the very highest level, testament to the University’s commitment to education and social justice. The films were shown on national channels in more than 200 countries around the world in November 2012, with a Four years in the making, Eight documentaries featuring potential global audience in excess of 300 countries from around the world were million. The YouTube channel had more the Why Poverty? film commissioned from award-winning than one million hits in the first six months; project’s global reach was filmmakers as part of the “Why Poverty?” there were 30,000 subscribers and more project, as well as 30 shorts from new than 35 million tweets worldwide. truly amazing and emerging talents. In Denmark, for example, around “The aim of the project was to a third of the country’s 5.6m population create a dialogue around why poverty watched the films as they were shown exists, as well as a tool for people to use on TV, while in Iceland, 50 per cent of to continue that dialogue,” says Dr Helen the population tuned in. In China, 2.6m Yanacopulos, the project’s Academic people downloaded, watched and Consultant. “In asking the provocative tweeted about the content. As a result question ‘why poverty?’ the films link the project won a prestigious Peabody poverty to global processes of economic, Award for excellence in public service political and social change, and the broadcasting and, since launch, the everyday choices and uncertainties films have inspired a UK-specific spin-off we all face. This project was launched series titled “Living with Poverty”. at the UN initially, so there was policy “This series emphasises that there engagement with this.” are structural issues behind poverty, From a behind-the-scenes look and that’s where a lot of the problems at Bob Geldof and Bono’s 30 year lie,” says Dr Yanacopulos. “Unless we campaign to end poverty, and the moving change, those things are not going to Above: An image from Stealing Africa, one of eight documentaries story of illiterate women becoming solar get better. Getting that debate out there looking at why poverty exists. engineers, to films exploring the impact is the impact that we were hoping for.”


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    38 Impact on the w orld Thinkstock OPEN now a huge amount of research paywall, it will use metadata – the content output available under open access descriptors – to source similar papers agreements, you need a reliable and that are available without charge. efficient search facility to turn up high- It’s not just a vital tool for researchers ACCESS quality, free alternatives to the material behind paywalls. CORE (COnnecting REpositories), a group of technologies in development since 2011 at the OU’s but for software developers too, explains Petr Knoth, OU Research Associate and CORE creator. “CORE’s huge corpus of freely available knowledge can be used The OU is championing Knowledge Media Institute, is exactly this. to write software that can, for example, free information for all CORE enables users to search help to organise documents according millions of publications in free-to-access to the chemical compounds mentioned research repositories and journals in research articles, or to discover around the world, and is already proving relationships between genes and diseases very popular, with more than 500,000 in medical papers.” visits every month to its website. It has It is, he adds, an important step E very student has experienced the frustration of unearthing a paper relevant to their research, only to find been adopted by several high-profile organisations, such as the European Library and UNESCO, and is listed in the transition from the old restricted scholarly publishing model to the culture of openness and knowledge-sharing that they need to pay an expensive among the top 10 academic search that will characterise the future. subscription to view the full text. However, engines by Jisc, the education sector And it’s far more than just a search in recent years there has been a major IT champion. engine. CORE’s ability to “text mine”, shift towards open access, making the While commercial academic search or conduct a deep analysis of content, content of a huge number of academic engines do not differentiate between free means it can help bring to light links papers freely available for reuse. and subscription-only content, CORE’s between seemingly disparate areas of The OU is a leader in the creation users will find their search results contain research – a cross-pollination of ideas of technology that promotes this culture only free papers. When the technology that is putting the OU at the heart of some of knowledge sharing. Although there’s identifies a suitable paper that is behind a exciting discoveries and innovations. w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    39 Daniel Nti Director of International BUILDING HUMAN CAPITAL Development, Development Office IN AFRICA AND ASIA T he Open University has been committed to international development for more than two decades, programme, is using simple mobile phones with preloaded resources, designed to train and develop teachers and one of its biggest advantages is in order to improve classroom lessons. the way in which it can deliver solutions Critics say the developing world suffers at scale where they are most needed. from lack of online connectivity, but Africa, for example, needs more acclaimed programmes such as EIA than three million teachers by 2015, while are finding innovative ways around this. India needs more than a million. Ethiopia High-quality audio and visual content must upgrade the training of its 30,000 can be stored and accessed on the health extension workers. These are big memory card of an inexpensive phone. numbers, so how can these countries The OU’s flexible, high quality learning meet these targets? methodology utilises this technology, This is where The Open University meaning education can now reach those has huge impact, delivering high quality in previously inaccessible, remote areas. work and school-based programmes, We are working with governments driven by our social justice mission. in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ghana, all We are experts at blended learning and with overstretched higher-education through our extensive partnerships we’re institutions, to help build university leveraging the OU’s areas of strength – such as designing effective technology- We’ve reached capacity. Bricks and mortar simply can’t keep up with the demand for higher enhanced learning programmes – to help developing nations reach the United more than 500,000 education. Distance learning allows more people to study. Quality blended Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight targets to reduce global teachers across 10 learning at scale requires upfront investment and a long-term strategy. poverty and suffering by 2015. We have developed health education Our strategy in Africa and elsewhere in the global South is built around four countries in Africa and training resources to support the upgrading of 30,000 health extension pillars: education of teachers; improving workers in Ethiopia – these essential health provision; boosting educational members of rural communities are saving leadership; and strengthening higher- Universal primary education is the lives of millions of people, including education systems. Our resources and a key MDG. Through collaborative vulnerable women and their babies during technical assistance are tailored for programmes such as TESSA (Teacher and after birth. Ethiopian authorities real people in real situations, whether Education in Sub-Saharan Africa), we’ve have adapted these same resources these involve teachers in Africa sharing reached more than 500,000 teachers to educate other cadres of the health resources online with their colleagues across 10 countries in Africa, with community, such as paramedics. All thousands of miles away, or Ghanaian materials in four different languages. This of our high-quality resources are flexible business schools updating their pioneering project has already won the and freely available to all. curriculum in collaboration with real prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize Future success depends on our businesses to prepare students more for world class excellence in higher and forward thinking partners supporting effectively for work. Numbers of women further education. Now, through TESS- our projects, and building the right in classrooms are low, but now you’ll find India, we are extending this innovative local partnerships to ensure that these rural girls in Malawi being encouraged programme into South Asia. programmes are sustainable. Together, to stay at school to reach the academic In Bangladesh, English In Action we really are enabling people to change level they need to become teachers. (EIA), a groundbreaking development their lives.


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    40 In brief OU across t he UK The OU’s progress in distance learned how the OU’s global learning and innovation reach is being advanced by ROYAL APPROVAL aimed at tackling the UK’s skills gap was given a royal technology such as its highly successful iTunes U platform seal of approval this year, and OU Anywhere, and how Duke of York visits Milton Keynes with a visit from HRH Prince the University’s research Andrew, Duke of York. On and design in teaching and his visit to the Milton Keynes learning is improving access campus, His Royal Highness to study materials. OU in Nort hern Ireland URBAN EXPERTISE OU delivers local history project Against the backdrop of the public to gain a greater the 400th anniversary of the understanding of urban granting of the Royal Charter history since 1613, the year to 14 towns across Northern the Royal Charter was granted. Ireland, the OU in Northern Dr Janice Holmes from The Ireland, in partnership with Open University in Northern the Public Records Office Ireland, who organised the of Northern Ireland (PRONI) programme for a second time ran a second series of owing to popular demand, popular learning events on said: “We hope that this local history, titled Exploring lecture series will help people Urban History in Ulster. to understand the historical Lecturers from the University origins of their towns, and to demonstrated their research begin thinking about how we expertise by using public might want our urban spaces records and sources, allowing to look in the future.” w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    41 OU in Scot land “INSPIRED” OU University feted by Henry McLeish The OU has been described Elish Angiolini, who received by former First Minister of an honorary Doctorate for Scotland, Henry McLeish, Public Services. as a “triumph of progressive “It was sheer genius thinking” which has “inspired, to introduce the concept enthused and educated” for of distance learning and to nearly 50 years. trash the notion that entry McLeish was attending to university required formal a degree ceremony in qualifications,” said Dame Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, and Elish. “The creation of The his view was echoed at a later Open University was not only ceremony by the former Lord insightful, but way ahead of Advocate of Scotland, Dame its time.” OU across t he UK OU in Wales OU across t he UK IN. THREE. WORDS. CARER SUPPORT AWARD WINS “Scary. Challenging. Awesome.” and “Best. Thing. Ever.”: The award-winning Access It’s been another incredible just two of the responses to the OU’s call for students to Learning for Carers project, year for OU people. Special to sum up their study experience in three words. Inspiring which promotes learning mention, among many, students formed the basis for the campaign, and a opportunities through carers’ many others, is due to Dr Mark partnership with the Metro newspaper, along with use of groups in Wales and runs a Brandon, Senior Lecturer in social media, maximised the activity. Gone were outdated bursary programme for carers Environmental Science at The perceptions of bearded professors and isolated students, not eligible for other forms Open University, who won as people met the world’s coolest academic (Dr Mark of financial support, went from Most Innovative Teacher of Brandon), the RAF’s first female fighter pilot (Jo Salter, strength to strength this year. the Year at the Times Higher now an OU tutor) and inspirational students. Launched in 2010, the project Education Awards for his increases opportunities work as Principal Scientific for carers to enter higher Advisor to the Frozen Planet education, thereby raising BBC TV series. Dr Aarón aspirations. It has also Alzola-Romero, a Classical enabled the OU in Wales to Studies lecturer and tutor, build on its existing widening won the Journal of Distance access programme, largely Education Editor’s Award for focused on those living in research into how ICT access areas of high deprivation. To affects student performance. date, 125 carers across Wales To top it off, the OU itself have taken part, with more won the HR Excellence in than 60 going on to formal Research Award from the accredited OU study. European Commission.


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    42 In brief OU in Wales PERFECT PARTNERS OU’s collaboration with unions praised The OU in Wales’s work with NHS in Wales, for instance, has trade unions was nationally been particularly effective in recognised in 2010 with providing career progression a prestigious Times Higher pathways for support workers Education Award for who start learning via Unison Outstanding Widening or the Royal College of Nursing. Access Initiative in the The dynamic partnership Workplace, and this year saw is built on OU’s extensive the 1,500th trades union- network of volunteer supported learner register for workplace Union Learning an OU course. Representatives (ULRs). The OU in Wales is Working closely with ULRs proud of its partnership with across Wales, the University is the Wales TUC and other able to provide workplace- individual trade unions, based advice, guidance and designed to build skills and information. Six years after the develop careers. It is the only launch, many ULRs higher education provider themselves have first-hand in Wales to have received the experience of studying with Wales TUC quality award. The the OU. OU in Scot land BOOSTING INTERNS Award-winning scheme creates hundreds of new opportunities for students The number of internships the Scottish Council for made available through the Voluntary Organisations and award-winning Third Sector Queen Margaret University. Internships Scotland (TSIS) Third Sector Internships scheme broke through the Scotland is a national, 100 barrier this year, creating collaborative partnership what Mike Russell, the Cabinet between higher education Secretary for Education and and the third sector, and OU across t he UK Lifelong Learning, described offers paid internships in as a “win-win-win for students, voluntary organisations BEING DIGITAL GRABS AWARD third sector organisations to students at any Scottish and Scotland”. university, enabling them OU Library Services has won students develop skills for The Cabinet Secretary to develop their skills and a prestigious award for Being study, work and life. Being was speaking as he joined experience while contributing Digital, named best new Digital, and the accompanying MSPs, participating to the vital work of Scotland’s digital resource promoting Digital Information Literacy organisations and individuals third sector. It also offers information literacy. The framework, won the award at at a reception at the Scottish support and guidance to resource is a collection of LILAC (Librarians’ Information Parliament to celebrate the voluntary organisations, short activities about finding, Literacy Annual Conference), successes of the scheme, charities and social enterprises using and sharing information one of the library sector’s which is co-ordinated by The to help them develop and host online, designed to help biggest conferences. Open University in Scotland, quality internships. w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    43 OU in England CARE TRANSFORMED OU leads on dementia training The Milton Keynes Hospital awareness and understanding NHS Foundation Trust is of dementia, and devising sponsoring 50 healthcare learning resources to improve assistants embarking on the quality of care. the OU course in dementia This is the latest example care, reflecting the OU’s of The Open University’s commitment to responding development of teaching and to this national priority, and research aimed at addressing to working with employers the needs of society’s most to transform care. vulnerable adults and Around 800,000 transforming the experience people in the UK are thought of giving and receiving care. to have dementia, but In making high quality despite significant investment learning more accessible to in research into its causes, ever more people, whatever no successful treatment is their circumstances, the yet available. University continues to play As a national provider, a significant role in meeting the University is playing the urgent need for dementia an important role in raising awareness and training. OU across t he UK OU in Nort hern Ireland SATISFACTION GUARANTEED NORTHERN IRELAND The Open University has once again achieved one of the highest ratings for student satisfaction among UK universities in the 2013 National Student Survey, receiving ASSEMBLY SHOWCASE an overall satisfaction rate of 92%. It leads the way in High-profile event demonstrates breadth Scotland and Wales, where the OU comes in at number one, with the highest overall satisfaction rating. And as in of OU expertise in distance learning previous years, The Open University was also the highest rated university for student satisfaction in Northern Ireland. The OU’s wide-ranging Employment and Learning. The result means the OU has been in the top five every contribution to policy Academic staff provided year since the first survey in 2005. Commissioned by the agendas across Northern a number of interactive and Higher Education Funding Council for England, the survey Ireland has been recognised online activities for guests gives the University one of the five highest satisfaction at a showcase event held to try out, demonstrating the ratings for assessment and feedback. Moreover, 94% of OU at Parliament Buildings, flexible, distance learning students find their courses intellectually stimulating. Stormont. A number of key methods that the OU offers stakeholders and political in all subject areas. representatives were at the Students and graduates event, including the First came along on the day Minister of Northern Ireland, to talk about their positive Tw o m illion N e ve r the Rt. Hon. Peter experiences studying a nd c ount ing t oo la t e Robinson MLA. with The Open University Almost two million Former engineer The occasion highlighted in Northern Ireland, while students have now studied Clifford Dadson, aged the work done by the OU employers such as Mary with the OU in the 40 years 93, has become The in areas such as widening Hinds (Public Health Agency) since the first degree Open University’s oldest participation, workforce and Louise Ormsby (Youth ceremony at Alexandra graduate, with a BA development and social Justice Agency) spoke about Palace in 1973. Open degree in Arts. mobility. It was one of the their successful partnerships best attended events ever with the OU in work-based hosted by the Committee for learning provision.


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    44 Donors GIFTS TO SECURE A BETTER FUTURE Since its foundation, The Open University has made a difference to the lives of millions of people – and they are making a difference to the OU. This year almost 8,000 donors – students, graduates, foundations, trusts and companies – contributed more than £3.3 million. The University is immensely grateful to its supporters. Gift s from t rust s, founda t ions Professor Rebecca Taylor, Dean of The Open a nd c om pa nie s University Business School, says its impact cannot be overstated. “It will provide individuals Everyone knows that OU students are ambitious, with the skills and confidence to take control of but a hugely generous £1m pledge from The their finances,” she says, “building from the basics Exilarch’s Foundation will soon enable its learners of understanding personal finance products, to to aim for the moon. understanding investment and risk.” The pledge will make it possible for the True Potential managing partner David University to create a new strand of free-to-access, Harrison, himself an OU MBA alumnus, says: “Many science-related Massive Open Online Courses people in Britain have a very uneasy relationship with (MOOCs). These innovative courses have the money. We want to arm people with the knowledge potential to change the way millions of people and information they need to embrace their financial access science education. dealings, to ask the right questions of the right “We are delighted to be able to create these people, and to eventually fix the savings gap that is opportunities, and in particular to engage and excite presenting an incredibly serious problem to the UK.” people about science,” says David Dangoor of The Exilarch’s Foundation. “The world needs scientists Gift s from a lum ni a nd frie nds and we hope that this innovative and truly accessible way of learning will encourage people to develop Many individuals have felt the unique impact an their interests.” Open University course can have, and a great Content will cover topics as diverse as the number of them are keen to put something back. moon and investigations into autism and cancer, and This year a record-breaking total of £735,000 will be delivered through iTunes U, OpenLearn and was given by individual donors, many of whom FutureLearn, the OU’s new online MOOC platform. have personal experience of the difference the OU As the OU’s Vice-Chancellor, Martin Bean, explains: can make. “This is an investment in the future that will have an Russell Wood is one such donor, having used impact on millions of lives for many years to come”. the springboard of an OU Social Sciences degree to switch from being a chef of 28 years to teaching. Increasing skills and confidence He now heads the Business and ICT department of a Merseyside secondary school. At the heart of the OU’s work is a belief that “It’s much more fulfilling,” he says. “I get huge education – whether a degree course or a one-hour satisfaction from seeing young people develop and television programme – has the power to change achieve. I couldn’t have got here without The Open lives. And that’s why a gift to conduct research into University. The feedback and encouragement I financial literacy and create free and accessible received from the tutors, especially in that foundation education modules on money matters has year, gave me the confidence and self-belief to proven inspirational. succeed. I think what the OU does is marvellous and The True Potential Centre for the Public that’s why I support it whenever I can.” Understanding of Finance has been created For Patience Tuckwell, the OU opened up in partnership and with the support of financial the world at a time when she felt it was closing in. services organisation True Potential LLP. She began her degree after being diagnosed with w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    45 SUPPORT THE The University recognises the following who have OU AND MAKE made donations of between £1,000 and £5,000 in 2012/13: AN IMPACT Mr George Ahier A full list of donors can Mr J Alexander be found online at: Mrs Carol Archbold www.open.ac.uk/donors. Mr Martin Bean Bombardier To make a donation to the Aerospace Foundation OU please visit: Mrs Penelope Butterworth www.open.ac.uk/giving Canon Lloyd Caddick Dr Kenneth Cameron If you would like to learn Mrs Kay Catherall more about remembering Dr Audrey Cieslakowska the OU in your Will visit: Mrs Mayonne Coldicott www.open.ac.uk/legacies Dr David Day Mr Joseph Devlin V ice -Chancellor’s Circle Dr John Drysdale suspected multiple sclerosis. “I was in a lot of pain Mr John Emberson and tired all the time. When they’re not sure what’s The University recognises Professor Raoul Franklin wrong with you, you really begin to think it’s all in the exceptionally generous Dr Anthony Freeling your head. Studying with the University helped me support of the following Mrs Elizabeth Gibbs realise I wasn’t going mad. Although I always read named individuals, Mrs Janet Harper a lot, I never realised I could study, so it came as trusts, foundations and Miss Dorothy Hind quite a shock when I got a First.” companies, as well as Mr Colin Hume She now donates to help others enjoy the same one anonymous donor: Dr Tim Hunt opportunity. “It’s a very worthwhile cause as it opens The Joffe Charitable Trust doors for people who thought they were closed.” The 29th May 1961 Dr Catherine Keogh Charitable Trust Mr James King Le ga c ie s Banco Santander Mrs Monika Mann Mr Howard Brown Dr David McGibney The Open University has been changing lives Mrs Faith Clarke Ms Linda McIntyre for more than 40 years, and some of its earliest Mr Richard Delbridge Ms Claire Moran graduates are among the generous donors to The Ernest Cook Trust Mustard Market remember the University in their Wills. This year The Esmée Fairbairn Research Limited the OU received a total of £645,000 in bequests. Foundation Mrs Fiona Mylchreest The year also saw a historic walled garden at The Exilarch’s Foundation National Institute of the campus centre transformed into the new Legacy Mr David Godson Adult Continuing Education Garden. Plaques will celebrate donors’ lives and Lord and Lady Haskins Mrs Anna Nasmyth achievements, serving as a symbolic reminder of Mrs Joanna Hunt Mrs Tracey Norris the way their legacies will help others to grow and Mr Kenneth Hydon Mr Patrick O’Connor blossom in the future. InterMarine Offshore Services Miss Joan Popovic One of the OU’s early graduates, Alma Seaton, J Paul Getty Jnr Ms Laurel Powers-Freeling served as a nurse in the Royal Navy before becoming Charitable Trust Mr John Price a midwife. She studied Arts and Humanities with Lloyd’s Register Foundation Mr William Reid the OU, gaining her BA in 1978. Her passion for OPITO Ltd Ms Glynis Rumley learning never left her. Staff at the Royal Star and PF Charitable Trust Miss Helen Rust Garter veterans’ home where she spent her last Mr Peter Prior Mrs Sybil Shean years remember her as a voracious reader, devouring Baron Thyssen Mr Edward Smith several books each week and delighting in quizzes. Miss Daisy Vassallo Soroptimist International The OU’s impact on Alma was such that she left the Mrs Rachael Webb Solihull & District University a legacy of more than £500,000. The Shears Mr Nicholas Sparks Neville Burkett left school at 15 without Charitable Foundation Mr Michael Steen qualifications and began a 50-year career as a True Potential LLP Professor Mary Stuart printer. But he wasn’t content with setting out the The Waterloo Foundation Mr Paul Todd words of others and, in 1971, he began studying The Wolfson Foundation Mr Richard Trounson Arts and Social Sciences with the OU, graduating Mr Ian Urquhart in 1977. Neville’s legacy will help ensure that the Mr Robert Wheatley lives of others can be similarly enriched by learning. Mr Ian Wright


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    46 Numbers fINANCIAL HIgHLIgHTS fOR 2012/13 I n 2012/13, changes to the funding regime in England were introduced. These changes have affected many Income from research grants and contracts increased by £0.9 million or 7% to £14.7 million, due to increased sources. The most significant reason for this reduction in income was the reduction in student numbers from facets of the financial statements, most value of work funded from Research last year of 15% in headcount and 8% notably funding body grants, tuition Councils and other sources. Other in full-time equivalents. As income is fees, new items of expenditure, debtors, income decreased by £3.8 million to largely dependent on number of FTEs, creditors and cash flow. The changes £24.5 million. Endowment and investment and the fall in FTEs has been relatively have only been implemented in England income decreased by £0.9 million or 20% small, this is not a cause for concern. but, since the market in England makes to £3.7 million. The OU planned for a decline in new up such a significant proportion of Total expenditure increased by undergraduate students in England the University’s total market, the overall £13.0 million or 3% to £428.7 million. following changes to HE funding and results have been affected. Total staff costs increased by £3.7 million our actual student number was ahead Total income decreased by or 1% to £274.9 million. An increase of targets set. £6.1 million or 1% to £447.5 million. of £6.4 million resulted from nationally Expenditure for the year included Funding body grants decreased by negotiated pay awards and progression an increase of £7.0 million on strategic £34.8 million or 15% to £198.1 million of staff up incremental pay scales and projects and activities to position largely as a result of the reduction in £3.5 million from a change in the mix the University for the new funding recurrent grant from the Higher Education of full-time, part-time and temporary environment, along with expenditure in Funding Council for England (HEFCE). staff. This was offset by £4.2 million the set up phase of FutureLearn Limited This decreased by £31.0 million or 17% from a reduction in the number of full- of £1.9 million, additional costs relating to £154.8 million, but still represents 83% time equivalent staff, £1.3 million from to the introduction of the new funding of all recurrent grants from the various a reduction in early retirement and regime in England of £5.7 million and funding bodies. The University also severance payments, and £0.7 million a one-off provision for Value Added Tax received recurrent teaching grants from from the release of a provision related to of £2.8 million following a back-dated the Scottish Funding Council (£20.8m), historic overseas social security liabilities. decision by HM Revenue and Customs the Higher Education Funding Council for Other (non-pay) operating in respect of one of the University’s Wales (£9.6m), the National College for expenses, excluding depreciation and suppliers. Therefore the increase of Teaching and Leadership (0.7m) and the interest, increased by £10.9 million or 8% 3% in overall expenditure represents Department of Employment and Learning to £144.2 million. a decrease of 1% in underlying (Northern Ireland) (£0.1m). In total the The net result was a surplus recurrent expenditure. grants from these four funding bodies before tax of £18.8 million compared to decreased by £0.4m from the total in £37.9 million last year. 2011/12 to £31.2m. The 2012/13 surplus as a Fee income increased by percentage of income was just under 5%. £32.5 million or 19% to £206.5 million. At a time of significant change in funding The majority of the increase was in this highly creditable result was due respect of fees paid by students, or to a combination of factors affecting both on their behalf by their employers or the income and expenditure. Student Loans Company, in England, The small decrease in income which increased by £31.2 million or 24% of 1% arose from a combination of the For a full understanding of the to £159.0 million. This increase is a result reduction in funding council grants University’s financial position of the changes in funding regime. The not being fully replaced by increased please refer to the audited financial combined increase in fee income outside tuition fee income, together with a small statements, which can be found at England was £1.3 million. reduction in income derived from other www.open.ac.uk/foi/main/expenditures w w w .ope n.a c .uk


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    47 206,300 79,586 Total number of students Number of full-time 92% Students who are satisfied equivalent students w ith the qualit y of their course, as measured by the National Student Survey 2013 Year ended Year ended 31 July 2013 31 July 2012 £m £m Results, cash flows, assets and reserves Funding body grants 198.1 232.9 Tuition fees and education contracts 206.5 174.0 Research grants and contracts 14.7 13.8 Other income 24.5 28.3 Endowment and investment income 3.7 4.6 Total income 447.5 453.6 Total expenditure 428.7 415.7 Surplus for the year before taxation 18.8 37.9 Net cash flow from operating activities 16.5 32.6 Net returns on investments and servicing of finance 4.1 4.5 Net cash flow before investing activities and tax 20.6 37.1 Fixed assets 154.4 163.5 Endowment assets 0.6 0.5 Net current assets 256.7 237.1 Total assets less current liabilities 411.7 401.1 Total reserves 271.6 252.8 Other key statistics Number of full-time equivalent students 79,586 86,173 Total number of students 206,300 242,802 Percentage of students satisfied with the quality of their course (taken from respondents to the National Student Survey) 92 93


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    48 Student vox pops ALUMNI VOICES Chris Moore, BSc (Hons) Computing, Technical Manager Stuart Shaw, Psychology, Health and Wellbeing Manager “My experience with the OU has taught “What I learnt in my degree has an The Open University me that I can achieve far more than impact on everything I do. I have a team offers not just a fantastic I initially expect, if I approach things of people to manage, and psychology methodically and stay motivated. I is very helpful with that. For people who education but also gained a First-class honours for the are thinking of studying with The Open personal development and BSc (Hons) in Computing, and as well University, I’d say “absolutely, do it”. as technical proficiencies, I have also It’s a brilliant, brilliant thing to do – it is increased confidence gained the skills of time management flexible and the support you get from and task prioritisation. I have learnt tutors is fantastically good. Increasingly, how to stay motivated and use reflective the technology is good, and you won’t practice to improve the way I learn. regret learning.” The achievement has motivated me to explore postgraduate study, too.” Darren Imrie, Professional Certificate Roger Dewell, MBA, Hanna Wood, BSc (Honours) IT and in Management, Project Manager Space and Technology Expert Computing, Computer Programmer “The course has put a lot of theory behind “The courses were excellent, especially “The OU worked really well because it what I do as a project manager. The the tutorials. Absorbing the written was flexible, so I could do my essays course was split in two. The first module material in my own time then being able in the evenings and at weekends. Along was managing people, which I found to come together to discuss the concepts the way it’s helped me to get some very useful for picking up techniques was a good way of working, especially excellent jobs, and I know that in each on how to deal with conflict, for example. while holding down a full-time job and of my interviews they’ve been really The second module was about finance seeing our daughter arrive as well. Years impressed with my own commitment and marketing, things I don’t have a afterwards, the same MBA concepts to study. I now work as a computer lot of experience of, so it was useful to come to mind when facing business programmer, and my degree has given absorb the knowledge and learn how challenges, and I’m sure I will continue me chance to do things in the job which to apply it to my day-to-day job.” to benefit from the OU experience in I wouldn’t have understood before.” business far into the future.” Rachel Napper, BA History, Kate Seymour, PGCE, Teacher Belinda Daniels, BA English Literature, Community Support Officer “As a result of my studies I have now Teacher “The best bit about studying with the OU gone into teaching full time, because “The course was fantastic because was that I was on my own – but not on my the school that took me for my placement you could study at night and don’t have own. I had other people I could ask for offered to take me on as an unqualified to go to tutorials all the time – especially help, but for the majority of it I was doing teacher while I was training with the OU. helpful if you’re a busy mum. There will it all by myself. Everything I did, I pushed I literally got the best of both worlds – be times when everything goes smoothly, myself to get done on time. The OU was a lot of time in school, a lot of experience and there will be times when it’s chaotic, a constant that stayed with me no matter from teachers, as well as all the theory but there are always people to help – what happened, and that was what kept from the OU. I’m finishing my NQT now especially your tutor. It’s particularly great me going.” and things couldn’t be going better!” for people who didn’t get the opportunity to attend a mainstream university.” w w w .ope n.a c .uk

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