Archive for July, 2012

178 years since denial of monarch’s declaration of an open university

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Edward I

Edward I (1239 –1307) is alleged to have gone to Cambridge and declared it to be ‘an open university – open to all’, thus making him one of the earliest users of the term Open University. However, Henry Goulburn, the MP for Cambridge who spoke in the Commons on  28 July 1834,  (this from a report of the Commons Debate in The Times 29.7.1834) argued this was unlikely as on Edward’s death the only known college in Cambridge was Peterhouse. Still, an alleged use of the term in about 1300 makes this the earliest reference. Unless, of course you know of earlier uses of the term.

Image credit: This image is in the public domain.

Former OU PVC goes online

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Coursera  calls itself a ‘social entrepreneurship company’ which aims to deliver online courses. Founded by two academics from Stanford University and funded to the tune of $22m by the computer industries, it claims to offer ‘education for everyone’ by providing courses from its partner universities. These include  the California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Virginia, Rice University, UC San Francisco, University of Illinois and University of Washington and also Toronto in Canada and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Coursera does not offer degrees, but students can be awarded certificates. (more…)

Re: Joyce

Thursday, July 5th, 2012


‘The broadening of my horizons and my appreciation of life has made joining the OU one of the best decisions I have ever made’.

In 1975 Brian Joyce, a self-employed salesman, started to study at the OU as he sought ‘the pleasure of learning new things’.  After many years studying with a focus on earth sciences and evolution, he gained a degree.  You can read his story, one of well over 100 which students and staff have uploaded, here:

Photo credit:  Jurassic Coast, made available by Claudia Gabriela Marques Vieila under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License © Claudia Gabriela Marques Vieila