Archive for the ‘Students’ Category

Why OU graduation ceremonies are distinctive

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

If heaven is indeed a place on earth, I’d put money on it being an Open University graduation ceremony. There’s nothing quite so electrifying as watching families jump to their feet when mum, dad, or even great-gran takes to the stage. The years of juggled childcare, jobs and family finances melt away as the graduate beams down from the stage, amazed that their moment has come. And in the audience you see the cavalry: the proud partner who poured endless cups of tea, the parents who babysat, the children who hugged mum the morning of her exams and almost made her cry when they said: “We love you whatever”. This is the stuff that makes the Open University great.

So wrote Laura Mcinerney in the Guardian If you have interesting recollections of an OU graduation ceremony, please let us know.

Systems and students

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Often the OU is seen in terms of systems. It also needs to be understood in terms of students. (more…)

Hyde: parked at OU but roaring to go

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Jan Hyde has a job (as a Careers Employability Officer, Adviser and Coach) a spouse and five children plus one foster daughter. She has completed 14 OU modules and is, she says, ‘a little addicted to study’. When writing about her experience of the OU she started not with her first engagement with it in the 1990s but with the institution itself and its support for a wide range of learners.  Read her account here.

MOOC News

Friday, December 21st, 2012

There has been a lot of coverage of Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs, of late. Stories have been run about the millions invested and the numbers interested in these free online courses open to all with electronic access.

MOOCs have also gained attention because the OU has joined with 11 other UK HE institutions to form a company, FutureLearn, which will offer a range of free, open and online courses on one learning platform. The OU’s Vice-Chancellor has declared that FutureLearn’s aim is to provide the “best quality student experience of any of the MOOCs on the planet’. (more…)

Unobservant journalism

Monday, November 12th, 2012

 Writing on 11th November journalist Carole Cadwalladr argued

When the Open University was launched in 1969, it was both radical and democratic. It came about because of improvements in technology – television – and it’s been at the forefront of educational innovation ever since. It has free content – on OpenLearn and iTunesU. But at its heart, it’s no longer radically democratic. From this year, fees are £5,000.

Her analysis of how the OU has supposedly lost its’ way is supported by personal testimony (more…)

Answers to the OUSA History of the OU quiz

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

 

1. Who is the Open University’s current Chancellor? (more…)

OUSA conference

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

The Open University Students Association (OUSA) is holding its conference 22-24 June on the Walton Hall campus.

There will opportunities  to learn about studying, careers, faculties, research and to meet the Vice Chancellor. There is also the History of the OU Quiz. You’ll be able to pick up copies when you come along to the talk about the history of the OU at 4pm in the Jennie Lee Building Room 1. Alternatively, you can pick up copies on the Campus History Tour. Meet at the OUSA Desk at 3pm. Both these events will take place on 22nd June. The quiz answers will appear on this blog on 27th June at two minutes past midnight.

Towering over the challenges

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The OU has long been in a league of its own. Many have seen it as rising above the others in a manner comparable to the way the inspirational tower associated with Blackpool is clearly far above the flat countryside of the Ipswich Town tractor boys. (more…)

Adult education since 1862

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Distaining to take the hint offered by Professor Malcolm Chase who suggested that ‘there are rather more histories of adult education than of other fields which would seem as deserving of historical scutiny, for example … higher education’, Vaughan College, Leicester has seized the opportunity of an anniversary, its 150th birthday, to reflect on its past (Chase ‘”Mythmaking and mortmain”: the uses of adult education history’, Studies in the Education of Adults, 27, 1 ,1995, p.52). The event will be marked by three main sessions over July 2nd – July 3rd 2012 which will look at what Vaughan College has stood for, how ‘the Vaughan tradition’ now fits into current thinking, policy and practice and the place of adult education in contemporary society.

It opens at 4.30 on the 2nd with a talk by AA100 author and AL at the OU, Dr Lucy Faire who is also Director of the HE Certificate in Modern British History at Vaughan College.  (more…)

Poetic brilliance and imagination trumps dreaming spires

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Ian Flintoff  was a language scholar at Oxford University before becoming a professional actor and director. |He started his OU career in 1989.His academic qualifications are mainly in biological sciences and he has a doctorate in science communication. He appeared on an album compiled by Richard Holliman for iTunes U, Science communication and public engagement. The album also features contributions from Alan Irwin, Jon Turney, Susan Greenfield, Vic Pearson, Robert Lambourne and Richard Holliman.Here Dr Flintoff recalls the residential element of his OU experience:
 You can never go to an OU summer school without seeing this amazing cross-section of society. The first time it brought tears to my eyes, the beauty of it … I was in an all-male college at Oxford which was mainly Etonians who were charming people, but I can’t kid myself for a moment that Trinity had anything on the majesty or poetic brilliance and imagination of the Open University.The Open University is a century or two ahead of Oxford.
 
Quoted in Patricia W. Lunneborg, OU Men. Work through lifelong learning, Lutterworth, Cambridge, 1997, p. 117.