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About the OU

The Open University was established by Royal Charter on 23 April 1969. We are the leading university for flexible, innovative teaching and world-leading research in the United Kingdom and have students studying with us in 157 countries worldwide.

Uniquely placed to understand the needs of part-time students, combining their learning while earning, our innovative, award-winning distance teaching credentials have seen over 2 million students receive an education, otherwise denied to them at campus-based universities.


Professor Tim Blackman

Our Vice-Chancellor

Meet Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor here at The Open University. Tim is a highly respected academic as well as the University’s chief executive and is incredibly proud to be leading the institution.

The ceremonial mace

Governance at The OU

Find out about Governance at the University as defined by Royal Charter, including its officers, committees and procedures.

Teaching and research

See how our OU-style open learning works from course development through to delivery to our students.

Strategy and policies

Learn about The Open University, its history, strategy and mission.

Find out where your fees go.

Annual reports

Read the story of our year through our Annual Report 2019/20 website and Financial Statement.

Walton Hall building

Find us

The Open University has its headquarters at Walton Hall in Milton Keynes, with representation across the UK.

In addition to UK quality assurance, The Open University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000). MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources.