The UCU (University and College Union) recently commissioned a report, Universities at risk. The impact of cuts in higher education spending on local economies, which concluded that across England, 49 universities were at risk of closure and that, of all the pre-92 universities, the OU is most at risk. It features in the list of 22 HEIs at ‘high medium’ level of potential impact from the proposals made in the Browne Review (2010), Securing a sustainable future for higher education. This means that the OU has at least eight of the maximum of 12 ‘risk’ points. A recent survey of university leaders revealed that nine out of ten expect an institution to close due to financial pressures. The OU has faced the possibility of closure before. In the past it rallied students and staff to defend it. (more…)
Some quotes from The Open University Vice-Chancellor:
The year has seen continued efforts throughout the University to preserve academic standards and maintain basic services to students, in the face of declining funding levels.
I state simply that the OU is uniquely placed to meet future demand in higher education, and to maintain and develop its position as an outstanding institution of higher education and training – the leading exponent of distance teaching in the UK – well into the 21st century and beyond.
Various national developments were very relevant, including the government’s policy of a switch towards science and technology in higher education, an increasing stress on the role of distance learning…and the introduction of new technologies… [The OU is] well placed to respond effectively to these major national initiatives. (more…)