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Key information

The Open University is the largest provider of part-time undergraduate higher education in Wales. It is a world leader in providing innovative and flexible distance learning opportunities at higher education level.

Students9 out of 10 OU students in Wales say studying with the University has increased their self-esteem and confidence

  • Over 7000 students across Wales are currently studying with The Open University.
  • There are OU students in every Welsh Assembly constituency.
  • More than seven out of ten OU students are in employment while they study.
  • More than four in ten OU in Wales undergraduate students join without standard higher education entry level qualifications.

Teaching and Partnership

  • More than 150 companies across Wales sponsor over 650 OU in Wales students. The OU in Wales’ unique partnership with the Wales TUC, and a number of individual trades unions, has seen over 1,500 trades union supported learners register for one of our courses since the partnership began ten years ago.
  • Through our widening access work we use our networks and partnerships across Wales to provide learning opportunities for non-traditional learners.  We use our free educational resources, such as our ‘Pathways to Success in Higher Education’ guide, and our formal access curriculum to help prepare learners for higher education study.    

InnovationFor every £1 invested in the OU, £7.50 is returned to the UK economy

  • The OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. This includes free study units on OpenLearn which has had more than 39 million visits; materials on iTunes U which have recorded more than 70 million downloads; and the OU YouTube channel which has had over 30 million views since it was launched in 2008. 
  • In August 2014 The OU in Wales launched OpenLearn Cymru, offering free Welsh and English medium learning resources to encourage access to higher education in both languages.
  • The OU had 72% of its research assessed as 3 or 4 star in the most recent UK Research Excellence Framework (2014). The high rating indicates that the research undertaken by the OU is world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of quality, impact and environment. 
  • 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 Cardiff University, providing free and open online courses to global audiences.

You can find more detailed information about the OU in Wales and our students in our Facts and Figures leaflet (PDF opens in a new window).