Studying in the 1980s

Richard Baldwyn’s autobiography Only Yesterday. Times of my life Kendal and Dean, 2008 includes his recollections of his OU degree which he started in 1986 and concluded in his sevenieth year, 1991. In the book he calls his experience ‘exhilarating, terrifying, humbling and oh so rewarding’. He describes the OU pedagogy which ‘teaches one to teach onself and at the same time to realise that the true purpose of education is the knowledge, not of facts but of values’. Richard Baldwyn mentions ‘the dreaded exam’ which led him to be ‘transported back some fifty years’ but spends more time recalling tutorials (which he clearly enjoyed) and Arthur Marwick who he met at Summer Schools in Westfield College, Hampstead and in York. While this summary indicates the importance that many students attach to their time studying with the OU, it does not do justice to the prose, described as ‘delightful reading’ by Wendy Craig. If you want to know more about the book, follow the link. If you want to tell us your OU tale, follow this link.

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