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OU in Wales kicks off 50th anniversary celebrations

David Allen, Louise Casella and David Blaney

The Open University in Wales launched its 50th anniversary celebrations recently during a gathering of university leaders.

The Higher Education Council for Wales (HEFCW) held its annual public meeting at The OU in Wales in Cardiff. Afterwards, Director Louise Casella addressed council members, where she gave an overview of The OU’s activity over the next 12 months.


The OU was established in 1969 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. It was his vision to create ‘an University of the air’, a bold concept of making university education open to all.

For the past 50 years, we’ve made it our mission to open up education to all, to make the impossible possible. But we’re not done. Even today, we’re working in every corner of Wales to get more people interested in education and studying with The OU.

To mark our 50th birthday, we have an exciting programme of events across Wales over the coming months. These include our OpenTalks series, which are free public lectures bringing learning to our communities, as well as a chance to celebrate with us and share your OU stories.

Louise Casella, Director, The OU in Wales

Since that time, more than 2 million people have studied with the OU including over 200,000 students in Wales. The OU in Wales currently has 8000 students, and almost a quarter come from Wales’ most disadvantaged areas.

David Allen, Chair of HEFCW, paid tribute to the OU’s work in Wales over the last 50 years.

On behalf of HEFCW, I would like to wish the Open University a very happy 50th Birthday. Through decades of change, the OU, with its innovative and supportive environment, continues to be the destination of choice for students of all ages and backgrounds.

It has been a pleasure to see the OU grow and evolve over the years. In doing so it has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. We wish the OU in Wales continued success over its next fifty years and I am proud of the role HEFCW has played in sustaining it.”

David Allen, Chair of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Events to mark the OU in Wales’ 50th anniversary will be shown on our events page.


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Rhodri Davies 
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Telephone: 029 2167 4532

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