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  4. Vice-Chancellor: Peter Horrocks CBE

Vice-Chancellor: Peter Horrocks CBE

Graduate with family

Welcome to The Open University – a learning experience like no other.

I believe the Open University remains one of the most important contributors to addressing the challenges facing our society and economy, and is well positioned to anticipate and demonstrate the best responses to challenges of the future.

Peter Horrocks CBE, Vice-Chancellor

Peter Horrocks took up the post of the sixth Vice-Chancellor of The Open University in May 2015. He also serves on the Board for FutureLearn which provides free online courses in partnership with over 100 universities and institutions worldwide.

Peter HorrocksAs Vice-Chancellor, Peter is the chief academic and administrative officer of the University, responsible for providing strategic leadership through his senior executive team, championing the interests of the institution at the highest levels with government, policy makers and funders, and ensuring the long term financial and operational sustainability of the OU.

Peter arrived at the OU after a career with the BBC spanning more than three decades. As Director of the BBC World Service Group, he was responsible for leading the BBC's international news services across radio, television and online, providing trusted news to over a quarter of a billion people globally every week.

Peter served as a member of the BIS International Education Council and served on Universities UK’s Social Mobility Advisory Group, which supports the delivery of the Prime Minister’s goals to widen participation from disadvantaged and black and minority ethnic communities.

In June 2015 Peter was awarded a CBE for Services to Broadcasting in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Vice-Chancellor's activities

A selection of recent news articles, speeches and statements, including conference appearances and university events.

Mature students

Social mobility must underpin higher education

The Vice-Chancellor’s blog on Universities UK urges the Office for Students to ‘’put social mobility at the heart of its mission and turbo-charge efforts to widen access to universities across the board’’.

The end of the fortress university

The Vice-Chancellor called for Universities to abandon their “fortress thinking” and awaken to the challenges of operating in a fully digital world.

Read (.pdf) his speech.

Stacks of coins with a mortar board

Fixing the broken market in part-time study

Open University says part-time students ‘learning while earning’ need direct funding

Read more

You can find more speeches given by the Vice-Chancellor here.


More about Peter

Externally, he is a member of the BIS International Education Council
which champions the UK International Education Strategy and the Education UK brand. 

He serves as Chairman of the Board for FutureLearn; a private company wholly owned by The Open University, which provides free online courses in partnership with over 100 universities and institutions worldwide.

He also served as a member of Universities UK’s Social Mobility Advisory Group, supporting the delivery of the Prime Minister’s goals to widen participation from disadvantaged and black and minority ethnic communities.

Educated at the independent King's College School in Wimbledon and Christ’s College, the University of Cambridge, Peter holds a Bachelor’s degree in History. 

Read about his career.

Vice-Chancellor's office:

Our postal address is:

The Vice-Chancellor's Office
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

Phone: +44 (0)1908 274066
Email: vice-chancellor@open.ac.uk


Sue Brewster,
Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor
+44 (0)1908 653214


For all OU communications, please contact in the first instance Lucian Hudson, Director of Communications, by email communications@open.ac.uk