Intending to make an impact at least as momentous as the earthquake which rocked the Portuguese capital in 1755, though aiming to be considerably less destructive, and dreaming of being received as raptuously as the Carnation Revolution, which started in Lisbon in 1974, Chris Bissell and Dan Weinbren, both from The Open University, will be making contributions to the History of European Universities. Challenges and transformations conference currently being held at the oldest university in Portugal, the University of Lisbon (founded 1288-90). Chris Bissell’s topic is ‘The Open University of the United Kingdom’ while Dan Weinbren is going to be talking on ‘Openness, universities and national identities’. He will be arguing that while the market model is widely used as a metaphor for understanding universities, and that specifically the ideas of Clayton Christensen have been applied to contextualise the development of the OU, there are wider political structures which also need to be considered. He will propose new parameters which can be employed to understand the impact of the OU.