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Our strategy

Our vision   

As a distinct higher education institution, The Open University will deliver an outstanding enquirer and student experience, empowering people in Northern Ireland to achieve their potential, thus positively contributing to Northern Ireland’s society and economy. We will achieve this through investment in excellent staff, excellent resources, public, governmental and academic engagement, supported by strong internal and external partnerships.

Our mission 

The Open University is open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Our values 


  • We play a unique role in society, making Higher Education open to all
  • We promote social justice through the development of knowledge and skills


  • We lead the learning revolution, placing innovation at the heart of our teaching and research
  • We continuously seek new and better ways to inspire and enable learning
  • We create world class research and teaching


  • We respond to the needs of individuals and employers and the communities in which they live and work
  • We are dedicated to supporting our students’ learning success

In 2013, The Open University transferred its government funding to the Department of Employment and Learning, making it effectively the third university in Northern Ireland.  Our new status in Northern Ireland presents the opportunity for the University to develop its academic reputation, research and scholarship within networks here and also through online open media.

The Open University Annual Report 2014-2015

Highlights from Northern Ireland include: 
  • A student satisfaction rating of 92%.
  • Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry MLA launched The Open University's first ever Open Week.
  • The Open University took part in the first ever Northern Ireland Science Festival with space scientist Professor Monica Grady.
  • For the first time, the Committee for Employment and Learning held a meeting at The Open University.