Archive for October, 2012

Ian Gass, 1926-1992

Monday, October 8th, 2012

A decade after his death we republish an obituary of Ian Gass. It is by Arthur Butcher who was responsible for the OU’s science in Scotland between 1971 and 1992. (more…)

Finnish link

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

One of the benefits of exploring the history of the OU is that it opportunities arise to meet colleagues from overseas. When Katja Varjos, from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Finland, visited the OU she said something about her teaching experiences.

Her university is a little younger than the OU and, in common with the OU, Lahti prides itself on its range of partnerships and company projects and its versatile and practical teaching methods. The institution accepts students of all ages and they are all funded by the state with grants. While much of the contact is face-to-face, Katja Varjos intends to develop the university’s engagement with elearning. (more…)

Customer satisfaction

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

 Yet again the OU students have demonstrated their satisfaction with the OU. Surveys of OU graduates 1975 — 1989 indicate that over 70% felt that they derived ‘great’ or ‘enormous’ benefit from their time as students, that over 80% felt that it had had a good impact on them ‘as learners’ and ‘as a person’ and that more than 50% noted the beneficial effect on their careers and on them as ‘members of society’. Subsequently, OU students have presented their studies as an aid to the development of their self-esteem and their careers and as constructive within the development of familial relationships. They have noted dramatic changes to their beliefs, thoughts and tastes and have acknowledged their pleasure in learning. Many have concluded that their OU studies provided them with intellectual stimulation, confidence and ‘cultural capital’. Since their inception in 2005 the annual National Student Surveys have all shown that OU students rate the OU more highly than almost all other students rate their respective institutions. (more…)

Half a century on from the white heat

Monday, October 1st, 2012

It was 1st October 1963. Having just outlined his plans for a University of the Air, which could he said, make a great contribution to the cultural life of the country and the enrichment of the standard of living, Harold Wilson received a standing ovation at the Labour Party’s Scarborough conference. Next on the agenda was a motion on higher education and scientific manpower. It was moved by a union representative, Sir William Carron of the AEU and seconded by David Grugeon of the Socialist Education Association. Mr Grugeon appealed for an end to the present divisions in the educational system – an end to stratification, streaming, and selection. The educational opportunity must be provided for everybody to ‘go as far as you can for as long as you can benefit’. (more…)