Archive for the ‘Occasions’ Category

Radio Coventry and Warwickshire remembers the OU’s only nationwide awards ceremony

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016


Here is the URL to BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire site available for 30 days. It is about the first degrees awarded by The Open University in 1973. STARTS – 02:28:28 | ENDS – 02:33:04]


CFP: Students in Twentieth Century Europe

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Submission deadline: Thursday, January 31 2013

Conference date: Thursday, July 18 2013

Conference Venue: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies, University of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, United Kingdom (more…)

Adult education since 1862

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Distaining to take the hint offered by Professor Malcolm Chase who suggested that ‘there are rather more histories of adult education than of other fields which would seem as deserving of historical scutiny, for example … higher education’, Vaughan College, Leicester has seized the opportunity of an anniversary, its 150th birthday, to reflect on its past (Chase ‘”Mythmaking and mortmain”: the uses of adult education history’, Studies in the Education of Adults, 27, 1 ,1995, p.52). The event will be marked by three main sessions over July 2nd – July 3rd 2012 which will look at what Vaughan College has stood for, how ‘the Vaughan tradition’ now fits into current thinking, policy and practice and the place of adult education in contemporary society.

It opens at 4.30 on the 2nd with a talk by AA100 author and AL at the OU, Dr Lucy Faire who is also Director of the HE Certificate in Modern British History at Vaughan College.  (more…)

Happy Birthday THES

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Happy birthday to the Time Higher Education Supplement which is celebrating its fortieth birthday this week. The newspaper first came out in 1971, the same year that students first started studying at The Open University, a reflection perhaps that higher education had moved up the political agenda. Matthew Reisz describes the background to the paper’s launch in this week’s issue:

It all started with a direct threat. Macmillan, the publisher of Nature, was planning to launch a paper called Senate, aimed at teachers in higher education. Times Newspapers Ltd was worried that this would eat into the substantial advertising revenue of the Times Educational Supplement – and so, in 1971, the Times Higher Education Supplement was born.


30 years since OUPC opened

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The new Open University Production Centre, September 1981

30 years ago today saw the completion of the lengthy construction and fitting out of the BBC/OU Production Centre and the transfer of BBC operations from Alexandra Palace to the Walton Hall campus.

Full production of radio and television programmes for the University commenced in the Perry building from 28 September 1981. The building was officially opened by Prince Charles the following year.

The OUPC studio operation was closed in 1991 after significant restructuring.


Educating Eliza

Monday, June 20th, 2011

In wishing a happy birthday to Eliza M Shardlow we acknowledge that the OU built on the work of other universities in accepting part-time and mature female students. The first of the 381 day students and 623 evening students who started their studies when, on 30th June 1881 Nottingham University College (now  The University of Nottingham) opened its doors, Eliza, then aged 24 would be 154 today, 20th June.

We’re still looking for alumni tales of starting studying with the OU. Do let us know your story.

An Open and Shut Case

Friday, February 11th, 2011

The UCU (University and College Union) recently commissioned a report, Universities at risk. The impact of cuts in higher education spending on local economies, which concluded that across England, 49 universities were at risk of closure and that, of all the pre-92 universities, the OU is most at risk. It features in the list of 22 HEIs at ‘high medium’ level of potential impact from the proposals made in the Browne Review (2010), Securing a sustainable future for higher education. This means that the OU has at least eight of the maximum of 12 ‘risk’ points. A recent survey of university leaders revealed that nine out of ten expect an institution to close due to financial pressures. The OU has faced the possibility of closure before. In the past it rallied students and staff to defend it. (more…)

Looking forwards to past broadcasts

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Today is the anniversary of the broadcast of the OU’s final course-related television programme. At 5.30am on 16 December 2006 Art: a question of style: neo-classicism and romanticism was screened. Its conclusion brought to an end 36 years of broadcasting history. In this blog we’ve used photographs and other still images. In 2011, to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1st OU television programmes in January 1971, we aim to link to a clip of the first Open Forum.  It was an attempt to support not merely teaching through transmission but learning through colloboration. Indeed the first Vice Chancellor, Walter Perry felt that ‘like Sesame, Open Forum plays an important role in our informal communications system’ (Walter Perry, Report of the Vice-Chancellor to the council, 1972, The Open University, Milton Keynes, 1973, p. 85). 


Society Matters

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

The final edition of the newspaper for all Social Sciences students and staff at The Open University, Society Matters, has been produced. Started in 1998 the end of Society Matters in this format signals a broader move across the OU towards electronic communication. Indeed a Society Matters Extra page of online material has been around for a few years. Assessing the impact of this trend towards greater reliance upon electronic communication and online learning will be part of The History Of The OU Project.

The first degree ceremony

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Yesterday’s degree ceremony at Milton Keynes Theatre marked the end of the summer season of cermonies across Britain and Ireland which saw 6,000 or so graduates celebrating their success. Meanwhile, today marks the anniversary of the very first degree ceremony. (more…)