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    annualreport 2016/17 1 university 4 nations millions of lives The Open University launched a revolution that has changed millions of lives, and is still going on. We are harnessing the power of education to open up the future. More


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    VICE-CHANCELLOR’S FOREWORD Where you start in higher education system crossroads. That’s why we to meet the economic are diversifying our income. life shouldn’t limit challenges of a post-Brexit With this in mind, our Open where you go. environment. Part-time higher up the Future campaign is on education is a cost-effective course to raise £50 million by Despite a challenging higher way to unlock the UK’s our 50th birthday in 2019. education landscape, we potential and develop our The goal? To give the gift of have many inspiring stories to workforce to ensure we have education to all. share from our incredible the skills needed for the students and staff. I hope future. Our work with smaller I would like to take this you’ll join me in reading and businesses and sector giants opportunity to thank the hearing more, as this report like the NHS is more focused dedicated staff, students and features many of those than ever. In the past year, supporters who continue to life-changing moments. we’ve awarded over twenty make the OU the wonderful thousand qualifications, rang- place that it is. Together, we Across England, the number ing from Certificate of Higher are changing lives every day. of part-time students remains Education to Doctor in decline, but The Open of Philosophy. Our reach and All the signs are good – this University has been impact in the higher education four-nation, global University vigorously stepping up its sector is truly massive. is going places. Join us. support for the interests of current and future students in During the last 12 months, Peter Horrocks all parts of the UK. We work on our Students First Vice-Chancellor support around half of all strategy for growth has part-time undergraduate progressed well. Behind the students with disabilities, and scenes, colleagues have students who do not have the worked hard to find new ways usual university entrance for the OU to become an We are fighting requirements. As the UK’s even more effective and hard for the largest social mobiliser, our sustainable organisation. responsibility is huge. We must do this if we are to interests of expand our social mission. part-time It is our firm belief that the UK More than ever before, higher students needs a diverse and flexible education funding is at a page 2


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    Vice-Chancellor (left) with graduate John Spence All the signs are good – this four- CLICK ON nation, global University is going THE ARROWS places. Join us THROUGHOUT THIS REPORT TO Peter Horrocks CBE Vice-Chancellor FIND OUT MORE I’m lucky to meet the amazing people that study at the OU and I can’t imagine denying them the opportunity to help us as a society Martha Lane Fox Chancellor page 3


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    OPEN We are working with employers in the UP public, private and not-for-profit sector to BUSINESS bridge the skills gap and boost productivity. Our programme of work-based degree and higher apprenticeships enables employers in England to use the apprenticeship levy to attract new talent, and upskill staff around the demands of their organisation. We are also working with employers in Northern Ireland to provide higher apprenticeships in the independent health and OUR NEW social care sector, and GUIDE IS HELPING exploring opportunities to EMPLOYERS offer apprenticeships in MAKE THE MOST Scotland and Wales. OF HIGHER AND DEGREE ‘Public sector organisations APPRENTICESHIPS can partner with us in confidence, knowing that the Crown Commercial Service has deemed us one of the best value, most competitive providers of the Chartered WE HAVE Manager Degree SPONSORED NEW Apprenticeship and Digital RESEARCH WHICH and Technology Solutions HELPS EMPLOYERS Professional Degree TO MOTIVATE Apprenticeship.’ David Willett, Corporate Director, WORKPLACE The Open University LEARNING ALEX’S STORY page 4


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    THE OU OPEN BUSINESS SCHOOL HAS PIONEERED UP THE FIRST MOOCS BUSINESS FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT OUTSIDE THE USA THE OU Image © Yozayo/Thinkstock IN NORTHERN IRELAND PARTNERS EIR BUSINESS NI TO BOOST SKILLS PIPELINE The Open University has worked with more than 2,400 employers; 59 FTSE 100 companies sponsored staff on our courses in 2016/17. The Open University has The True Potential Centre for Its work won a 2017 partnered with financial the Public Understanding of Guardian University Award services company True Finance is helping to in the Business Partnership Potential LLP to create the address the growing category. first and only personal personal debt crisis finance research centre through financial literacy. CLICK HERE in the UK with an active teaching programme freely available to the public. 94% OF LEARNERS ON THE FREE COURSE MANAGING MY MONEY SAID THEY IMPROVED THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT page 5


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    88 of the FTSE 100 have sponsored staff on OU courses OPEN UP OPPORTUNITY The support I received helped me get a job with much better prospects We are funding an Enhanced Employability and Career Progression programme to ensure even more students achieve positive personal and career development outcomes. This University and curriculum; staff A cornerstone of the strategic priority culture; and strengthening University-wide programme focuses on relationships with is our expanded Careers embedding employability employers. and Employability Services into the student experience launched this year. The OU has been life-changing. It has enabled me to achieve my dream of becoming an engineering consultant Faye Banks, MEng and Telegraph’s Top 50 UK Female Engineers in 2016 MARVA’S STORY page 6


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    88 of the FTSE 100 have sponsored staff I was in on OU courses severe financial OPEN crisis. I ended up UP not having a place OPPORTUNITY to stay in … but I continued to study because … when my children grow up I wanted them to see their Image © SergeyIT/Thinkstock father has become something Shafiq Mohammed OU in Wales student and Inspire! Adult learner award winner 2017 IN 2016/17 23,630 STUDENTS 55% OF OU STUDENTS IN ENGLAND COME WITH DISABILITIES FROM DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS... CHOSE TO STUDY ONLY 29% OF FULL-TIME STUDENTS DO WITH US THE OU THE OU IS IN THE 2017 IN SCOTLAND STONEWALL TOP DELIVERS DEGREE- 100 EMPLOYERS LEVEL LEARNING FOR LESBIAN, TO COLLEGE GAY, BI AND STUDENTS ON TRANS STAFF CAMPUS KARIS’ STORY page 7


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    88 of the FTSE 100 have sponsored staff on OU courses OPEN UP OPPORTUNITY NORTHERN IRELAND OU WE ARE THE UK’S LARGEST UNIVERSITY, GRADUATE DAVID WITH 122,326 STUDENTS IN ENGLAND, FERRAN WINS SCOTLAND, WALES, NORTHERN IRELAND TOP AWARD FOR AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE THE OU We’ve got IS THE NUMBER 15,000 students ONE UNIVERSITY in Scotland from IN NORTHERN every walk of IRELAND FOR ‘OVERALL STUDENT life SATISFACTION’ THE OU IN WALES AND WALES TUC HAVE CELEBRATED 10 YEARS OF A WE ARE THE OU HAS PARTNERSHIP HELPING MORE MORE THAN 120 WHICH HAS SCHOOL OPEN LEARNING SUPPORTED STUDENTS IN CHAMPIONS 1500 LEARNERS WALES PROGRESS ACROSS TO UNIVERSITY SCOTLAND page 8


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    OPEN UP THE FUTURE MILLION-POUND FUNDRAISING SEA VOYAGE DONORS FIND OUT HAVE MADE MORE OR EXCEPTIONALLY SUPPORT US GENEROUS GIFTS NOW WE’RE CROWDFUNDING This year, The Open University has received nearly £5.1 million in donations, including £496,000 legacy gifts. A single legacy gift of more than £230,000 from former student Colin Hulme has enabled us to launch the Disabled Veterans Scholarship Fund to harness the full potential of those leaving the armed forces with a disability. We are delighted to We are incredibly grateful to support the the nearly 10,000 donors – alumni, trusts, foundations, OU’s unique and companies and individuals interesting – who have supported our research mission to open up David Simpson, Chair of education to all. Trustees, Petplan Charitable Trust supporting research into Animal Computer Interaction page 9


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    OPEN UP MINDS FIFTEEN BILLION TO WALK POUND RAILWAY INVISIBLE Our partnership with the BBC continues to reach millions of people via TV, radio, digital, online and social platforms, inspiring huge numbers to click through and discover Open University learning. HOSPITAL This year, our broadcast with the BBC, continued this engage with science projects have won 15 year with Can Britain Have a and technology. major awards, including the Pay Rise and Britain’s Learning on Screen Premier Greatest Invention. Other OU/BBC broadcast Award, The Griersons, BAFTA highlights include the Brontë and the Broadcast Award for Britain’s Greatest Invention drama To Walk Invisible, the Best Documentary Series. is part of Tomorrow’s World NHS series Hospital, The the high-profile UK-wide Fifteen Billion Pound Railway Our widening participation campaign to encourage and the long-running series campaigns, co-produced everyone to actively Child of Our Time. Have you noticed the OVER 256 MILLION 75 HOURS OF most interesting VIEWING AND AUDIOVISUAL LISTENING EVENTS RESOURCES AND programmes on OF OU/BBC UNIQUE ASSETS telly are made with CONTENT FOR OU TEACHING the OU? page 10


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    OPEN UP MINDS Our free learning website OpenLearn has celebrated its 10th anniversary. It now offers more than 1000 free online courses available for anyone to start straightaway. OpenLearn provides free educational resources to reach millions of learners around the world Our OpenLearn redesign in 2017 has added resources to boost skills for work and skills for study. We are expanding our range of innovative digitally badged OVER 7000 OpenLearn courses, which allow learners to record and share DIGITAL BADGES evidence of their achievements across a range of e-platforms. GAINED BY INFORMAL Badged open courses reach a higher proportion than LEARNERS average of learners with a disability, having English as sec- ond language, and having no undergraduate degree. OPENLEARN CYMRU OFFERS 50 MILLION TOP TEN FREE LEARNING VISITORS TO OPENLEARN RESOURCES IN OPENLEARN VIDEOS VIEWED ENGLISH AND SINCE ITS LAUNCH BY MILLIONS WELSH page 11


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    88 of the FTSE 100 have sponsored staff on OU courses OPEN UP THINKING Our world-leading innovative Image © manjik/Thinkstock research and development ranks in the top third of UK universities. Open University Since the orbiter entered Our Space Exploration researchers are Martian orbit in October 2016 priority research area has closely involved in its NOMAD and CaSSIS been awarded grants the Trace Gas Orbiter on instruments have been totalling more than £1 million board ESA’s ExoMars sending back images and this year by the UK Space mission, which is searching data to our scientists for Agency for research on for methane and other signs analysis. Mars and the Moon. of life on Mars. SPACE IS SUFFRAGE ONE OF FIVE SCIENCE KEY RESEARCH AWARD FOR THEMES AT CHAMPIONING THE OPEN GLOBAL WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY WARMING CAREERS IN FROM TREES? MATHS page 12


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    OPEN Our research is designed to have impact UP and change lives for the better. THINKING The OU’s OpenSTEM labs won Outstanding Digital Innovation of the Year at this year’s Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards. OpenSTEM enables science students to carry out remote experiments by connecting to scientific instruments online, making the laboratory accessible to all. ‘This innovation has far- ranging implications, not only for distance learners but also in maximising the use, impact and return on investment in specialist equipment,’ the Award Judges said. 963 RESEARCH 72% OF OU 6 ATHENA OUTPUTS ADDED RESEARCH ‘WORLD- SWAN AWARDS IN 2016/17 TO OUR LEADING’ OR FOR COMMITMENT FREELY AVAILABLE ‘INTERNATIONALLY TO GENDER OPEN RESEARCH EXCELLENT’ EQUALITY ONLINE (REF 2014) page 13


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    88 of the FTSE 100 have sponsored staff on OU courses OPEN UP LIVES Our projects, delivered with local partners, are developing thousands of teachers and health workers in Asia and Africa. 70% OF PRIMARY STUDENTS IN In Bangladesh, English in Action has helped more BANGLADESH than seven million primary and secondary school CAN NOW USE children improve their English language learning as BASIC ENGLISH a route out of poverty and into work. Over 53,000 classroom (UP FROM 36%) teachers can now access high-quality language teaching resources via low-cost mobile phones. OpenWASH is a set of innovative It is supporting the Ethiopian government’s learning resources on water, sanitation One WASH National Programme to and hygiene we launched in 2016 in provide safe water and improve sanitation partnership with World Vision Ethiopia and for nearly 30 million people. UNICEF. CLICK HERE page 14


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    We are using our expertise in OPEN large-scale open UP and distance LIVES learning to improve lives around the world. Our award-winning TESS-India teacher education project is now being delivered in partnership with Save the Children India. Since 2012, TESS-India has harnessed the power of IT to make high-quality educational resources available free to teachers, transforming the classroom experience. The partnership with Save the Children India is now enabling TESS-India to transition from being supported by UK Government aid, to an independent and sustainable future. CLICK HERE TESS-INDIA HAS An exceptional project REACHED MORE with unparalleled reach, THAN 1 MILLION TEACHERS AND delivered at scale TEACHER Judges, Guardian University Awards 2017 EDUCATORS page 15


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    annualreport 2016/17 1 university 4 nations millions of lives The Open University launched a revolution that has changed millions of lives, and is still going on. We are harnessing the power of education to open up the future. THE LARGEST 59 OF THE FTSE UNIVERSITY IN 100 SPONSORED EUROPE WITH STAFF ON OU 173,927 COURSES IN STUDENTS 2016/17 EQUALITY AND 23,630 STUDENTS DIVERSITY WITH DISABILITIES FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FIND OUT MORE 2016/2017 ABOUT THE OU’S EQUALITY SCHEME AND OBJECTIVES CONTACT: LUCIAN J HUDSON DIRECTOR OF @OPENUNIVERSITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS @OUSCOTLAND MEMBERSHIP +44 (0)1908 274066 @OUCYMRU 2016/2017 @OUBELFAST COMMUNICATIONS@ OPEN.AC.UK @OUIRELAND The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302). The Open University is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. © THE OPEN UNIVERSITY 2017


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