Archive for April, 2013

Jennie, Betty and the changing of the world

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

On Sunday 28th April 2013 the Independent on Sunday listed ‘the 100 British women who, arguably, have done most to shape the world we live in today’. They included two women associated with the OU, Betty Boothroyd, the former OU Chancellor and Jennie Lee about whom it was written ‘her legacy as a minister in Harold Wilson’s government included the setting up of the Open University’.

Systems and students

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Often the OU is seen in terms of systems. It also needs to be understood in terms of students. (more…)

Royal Charter anniversary

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

The Royal Charter was presented on 23rd April 1969, before there were any OU students. This early Royal ndorsement indicates the aims of the university. These are largely unsurprising for a university. It should advance and disseminate learning and knowledge. However, unusually for a university the OU is also ‘to promote the educational well-being of the community generally’. This was an institution which intended to be inclusive, innovative, responsive. (more…)

Margaret Thatcher and The Open University

Monday, April 8th, 2013

As Education Secretary in the early 1970s Margaret Thatcher made two decisions which illustrate her long-term approach to higher education. The first one was to ignore the patrician voices in her own party which derided the newly-opened Open University. She opted to retain Labour’s project. However, there was a twist. (more…)