Anniversary of the death of Walter Perry

Eight years ago,on 16 July 2003, Lord Perry of Walton, founding Vice-Chancellor, died. Professor Walter Perry, Vice-Principal Edinburgh University was appointed The Open University’s first Vice-Chancellor. Part of his vision for the OU was that it could domore than teach Degrees to adults part-time.He saw that it could disrupt higher education: 

It wasn’t that I had any deep-seated urge to mitigate the miseries of the depressed adult; it was that I was persuaded that the standard of teaching in conventional universities was pretty deplorable.  It suddenly struck me that if you could use the media and devise course materials that would work for students all by themselves, then inevitably you were bound to affect – for good – the standard of teaching in conventional universities. 

In a review of Walter Perry’s Open University: a personal account (26.Nov 1975 THES) Asa Briggs suggested that it was to become

of great value to future historians and it deserves to be studied carefully now by everyone interested both in the Open University as a highly successful pioneering institution and in the operations of the British educational system as a whole. 

Leave a Reply