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.
However, it has had to adjust to the new fees and funding regime. Students who will enter the OU for the first time in 2012-13, who live in England and who require a government loan to cover the £2,500 fees, will need to register for a qualification. There is a Choosing with Confidence website that every student should visit before they make the final decision to register and pay. There are 120 framework qualifications, structured into pathways. No student registered for a qualification will be able to study at level 2 until they have completed 60 credits at level 1. The same principle applies at level. A number of changes have been made to support entry and progression.
There have been significant changes to the curriculuym and fees over the last 40 or so years. Reviewing the whole period provides us with a perspective which is likely to be of value in the future.