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Facts and figures


  • The Open University in Northern Ireland has over 3600 students supported by 169 tutors and 46 staff based at the headquarters in Belfast. 
  • Over 43,000 students have studied with The Open University in Northern Ireland since 1969.
  • Over half of our undergraduate students here begin their study without standard higher education entry level qualifications i.e. 1 A Level or less.
  • There are Open University students in every constituency here.
  • 18% of our undergraduate students have a disability
  • The average age of an Open University student in Northern Ireland is 30.
  • 43% of our students receive financial support for fees.
  • 74% of our students study with The Open University while in work.  
  • In 2017 The Open University was rated the number one university in Northern Ireland for ‘overall student satisfaction’ in the National Student Survey. 


  • The OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn which has had more than 33.7 million visits; materials on iTunes U which have recorded more than 67.1 million downloads; and the OU YouTube channel which has had over 17 million views since it was launched in 2008.
  • The OU was in the top half of higher education institutions in the most recent UK Research Excellence Framework (2014). Overall 72% of all OU research was deemed 'world-leading' or ‘internationally excellent’.
  • The Open University is a global leader in the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the UK via ‘FutureLearn’ a partnership between the OU and other universities, including Queen's University, Belfast, providing free, open, online courses to global audiences.