Peter Horrocks, Vice-Chancellor, The Open University
Peter Horrocks took up the post of the sixth Vice-Chancellor of The Open University in May 2015. He also 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.
In June 2015 Peter was awarded a CBE for Services to Broadcasting in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
As 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.
The Open University, the UK’s largest academic institution, has been transforming the lives of millions of people for over forty years, harnessing innovative technologies to provide high-quality, flexible and inspiring part-time higher education to learners world-wide. More than 170,000 people are currently studying for qualifications with the OU, with millions more watching the University’s TV programmes, produced in partnership with the BBC, and using free learning resources on iTunes U, Open Learn and FutureLearn.
Peter arrived at the OU after a career with the BBC spanning more than three decades. As Director of the BBC World Service Group, the world’s most respected news brand, he was responsible for leading the BBC's international news services across radio, television and online, and his team provided trusted news to over a quarter of a billion people globally every week. He had responsibility for a global workforce of 3000, based in 113 countries delivering over 83,000 hours of content each year in 28 different languages, with annual revenues exceeding £400m.
Peter’s not-for-profit experience was through his chairmanship of the BBC Media Action Board of Trustees, the BBC’s £40m per annum international development charity that delivers social transformation through media skills and communication in the world’s poorest countries.
Externally, Peter is a member of the BIS International Education Council which champions the UK International Education Strategy and the Education UK brand. 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. He enjoys running, skiing, cycling and tennis and is married with three children.
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