On 10th October, 2011 Michael Drake, the OU’s first Dean of Social Sciences, gave a talk in the Milton Keynes Village Hall to the Two Villages Archive Trust about on ‘The OU and me’. He employed the metaphor of industrialisation to describe the impact of the OU. This echoed a phrase that he had employed in 1972 when Michael Drake argued that the Open University was ‘the industrial revolution of higher education’ (M Drake, ‘The Open University concept’, Studies. An Irish Quarterly Review, Summer 1972, LXI no 242, p. 158). (more…)
There was considerable coverage given to the fortieth anniversary of the first OU television broadcasts on 3rd January 1971. A local freesheet in Milton Keynes, MK News included an image of an early broadcast. There was also material based on interviews with Michael Drake, who made many of the early social sciences programmes and with Sally Cromptron, the current head of the Open Broadcasting Unit. There was also a link to the timeline. The archives has more information about the content.
Launched on 8 May 1972 this publication was sent to all students (about 35,000 of them) and staff (about 5,000 people). It was designed to be a news service and the first issue carried a piece by Ray Thomas about who was using the OU and why. It was revealed that there was an interim editorial advisory group chaired by Michael Drake. Professor Drake said: ‘It must be more than a vehicle for student outrage or Walton Hall pap. It has got to be be seen to be independent’. It was predated by Open House ’a weekly journal of news, views and information for and by the staff of the Open University’ which was launched in March 1970.