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OfS Transparency Information Return

The information published on these pages shows: 

  • The number of applications for admission on to recognised, undergraduate higher education courses that we have received from UK domiciled applicants.
  • The number of offers we have made in relation to those applications.
  • The number of those offers accepted and the number of those who have registered with us.
  • The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • The gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • Their ethnicity
  • Their socio-economic background.

It is important to note that the data presented has not been contextualised. This means, for example, that you will not be able to see from this data how many of those applying to courses met the entry criteria. It is also the case that universities and colleges will often receive many more applications than they have spaces on courses and so offer rates will necessarily be lower than application rates in those circumstances

With regard to information that is split by the three characteristics of gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background you will see that some figures may be highlighted. This is because those differences between groups of students with particular characteristics are notable.

The Open University has a different application, offer and acceptance process than other universities. This is because, in most cases, our students do not have to meet a set of entry requirements, we are an open-entry university. For the purpose of this Transparency return the Office for Students has approved Open University specific definitions for applications, offers, accepted offers and registrations. These are explained in the notes accompanying the tables.

Data Tables


  • N/A Not applicable as no applicants to this mode of study
  • N 24 or fewer students in this population
  • DP Data suppressed for data protection reasons

Different rounding strategies are used depending on the number of students included in the calculation, if the denominator rounds to:

  • 50 or less - percentages are rounded to 5%
  • 1,000 or less - percentages are rounded to 1%
  • More than 1,000 - percentages are rounded to 0.1%

Table 1a: Summary of applications, offers, acceptances and registrations: 2018-19 entrants

  Number of applications Percentage of applications that received an offer Percentage of applications that  accepted an offer  Percentage of applications that led to a registration
Full Time Ethnicity White 50 85% 85% 85%
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic N N N N
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 40 60% 60% 60%
3 to 5 30 55% 55% 55%
Gender Male N N N N
Female 60 64% 64% 64%
Other N N N N
Part Time Ethnicity White 48100 99.0% 75.7% 67.6%
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic 6540 99.0% 70.3% 60.6%
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 19360 99.4% 73.6% 63.6%
3 to 5 21390 99.1% 78.9% 70.4%
Gender Male 20040 99.4% 76.6% 68.9%
Female 35970 98.4% 73.5% 65.0%
Other N N N N
Apprenticeships Ethnicity White 560 88% 88% 87%
  Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic 70 72% 72% 72%
  EIMD quintile 1 and 2 280 67% 67% 67%
  3 to 5 460 75% 74% 74%
  Gender Female 460 70% 69% 68%
  Male 300 78% 78% 77%
  Other N N N N

Read the detailed information on applications, offers, acceptances and registrations for 2018-19 entrants to the Open University.

  1. Only the OU’s first year Nursing degree students in England are counted for the purposes of this table as Full Time students.
  2. EIMD stands for the ‘English Index of Multiple Deprivation’. It is a Government measure of the levels of deprivation in local areas. EIMD 1 or 2 areas are considered to be the most deprived.
  3. Applicants, other than Nursing degree students or apprentices, register an interest in studying with the OU by making a reservation and can register an interest for several courses. As an open entry university, we do not make ‘offers’ as such, so the percentages accepting an ‘offer’ largely reflect decisions made by students on whether or not to turn a reservation into a full registration.
  4. Students are considered by the Office for Students in England to be registered at the point where they have started studying and have reached the first fee liability point. Up to that point, students may withdraw from study at no cost if they wish to.
  5. For some programmes such as Apprenticeships, or for entry onto qualifications leading to registered professions such as Nursing and Social Work, applications are considered in conjunction with employers and successful students are registered for an OU course.


Table 2a: Percentage of first degrees at grade 2:1 or above by characteristic for 2017-18 qualifiers

Ethnicity Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic 29%
White 53%
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 42.3%
3 to 5 54.9%
Gender Female 49.9%
Male 52.2%
Other N

Read the detailed information about the number of students who achieved a degree or other academic award on completion of their course with the Open University.