Royal Charter anniversary

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. The OU has responded to this decision to be inclusive in innovative ways. It has been open to part-time and mature, those with disabilities, in prison or the Services or abroad or without previous qualifications. It has supported those who interrupted their studies, transferred from one region to another or did not study for a degree. The OU has reached out beyond its own students to the wider public: through Community Education Packs, television and radio broadcasts, and later through online Open Educational Resources. It has also helped to create Africa’s largest teacher education research and development community. This year the OU is developing massive open online courses, and offering large numbers of students the opportunity to study high quality courses through Futurelearn the multi-institutional platform for free, open, online courses

The Charter provided legal unity for a university which at that stage did not yet have a physical home (the move to Walton Hall in Milton Keynes would come later that year). As a disembodied university, learning happens in workplaces, homes and prisons, study centres and many other places. It reaches throughout the nations and regions, and is online and international. The Charter unified the OU.

The Charter also made provision for an ‘organisation of students of the University’, which led to the foundation in 1972 of The Open University Students Association (OUSA). OUSA works with the university to keep the OU’s Student Charter current and relevant to students’ needs through a process of regular consultation and review.

One Response to “Royal Charter anniversary”

  1. Agata Lo Tauro Says:


    Please let me know if I can be of further help.


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