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About us

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.


  • Over 14,000 students across Wales are currently studying with The Open University.
  • There are OU students in every constituency in Wales.
  • Around seven out of ten OU in Wales 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.
  • Almost a quarter of OU in Wales students come from Wales’ most disadvantaged areas.

Teaching and Partnership

  • Around 150 companies across Wales sponsor students to study with us and over 400 OU in Wales students are sponsored by their employer.
  • 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 over ten years ago.


  • 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 40 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. 
  • The OU in Wales’ bilingual platform OpenLearn Wales offers 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
42% of our students are from Wales' most disadvantaged areas
23% of our students have told us they are disabled
9 out of 10 OU students in Wales say studying with us has increased their self-esteem and confidence
71% of OU Students in Wales say that studying with us improves their career prospects

Equality and Diversity at The Open University in Wales

Social justice is at the heart of The Open University's mission. We are creating an inclusive university community and a society where people are treated with dignity and respect, where inequalities are challenged, and where we anticipate and respond positively to different needs and circumstances, so that everyone can achieve their potential. Visit The Open University's Equality and Diversity website, which includes information about our Equality Scheme, our outcome-focused equality objectives, our equality statistical information and our annual report.

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