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Vice-Chancellor, Peter Horrocks CBE

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

It’s a great privilege to be the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University.

The Open University has always put students first. Thousands of OU students complete their higher education journeys each year, helped on their way by the advice, inspiration and guidance of our Associate Lecturers and Student Support staff.

I have seen first-hand the transformative power of education around the world, especially when coupled with technology. The Open University has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people by providing them, through distance learning, with an education that may otherwise have been unattainable.

I came to the OU after a career with the BBC spanning more than three decades. From 2009 – 2014, I was Director of the BBC’s World Service, overseeing a global workforce of 3,000 staff and delivering news to over a quarter of a billion people every week. There were many challenges, as well as opportunities.

Working with the OU has many similarities, not least having the passion to make a difference in the world. For over 40 years, the OU has been providing high-quality, flexible, part-time education across the UK, Ireland and internationally allowing our students to unlock their potential and succeed in their ambitions. Nearly 200,000 people, from many different backgrounds, are studying for qualifications with us, often combining work and family commitments. Millions more watch our TV programmes, produced in partnership with the BBC, and use our free learning resources on iTunes U, OpenLearn and our global platform FutureLearn, which provides free online courses in partnership with over 50 universities and institutions worldwide.

I truly believe in what the OU stands for and take inspiration from the daring and innovative thinking of the OU’s founders, now almost fifty years ago.

The OU has so many of the assets needed for a successful future: talented staff, influential supporters, a vast network of alumni and, above all, brilliant students. You can find out more about what we’re up to by visiting the University’s news and current affairs website

Peter Horrocks CBE


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