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International students

We are The Open University, and we believe world-class, university education should be open to anyone. So, wherever you are in the world, you’re welcome at the OU.

Since 1969 we’ve been teaching across time zones, giving students in over 180 countries a flexible alternative to traditional, university education – with all the support and teaching excellence you’d expect from the world’s leading distance learning university.

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Open University Graduation Ceremony

Global impact

We’re open to anyone, anywhere. We’re teaching over 168,000 students across the four nations of the UK and in 157 countries around the world.

 
 

#1

The world’s first open university, established in 1969.

 

72%

of research deemed ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

 

8,000+

International students in 157 countries, currently studying with the OU.

 

23 million

Learners around the world studying on the OU's open platforms, OpenLearn and FutureLearn.

 
 

#1

The world’s first open university, established in 1969.

 

72%

of research deemed ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

 

8,000+

International students in 157 countries, currently studying with the OU.

 

23 million

Learners around the world studying on the OU's open platforms, OpenLearn and FutureLearn.

 


 

Internationally recognised

All OU degrees meet the same exacting, quality assurance standards that are set for traditional universities by the UK’s funding and regulatory bodies.

This means that a degree from the OU has the same status as one from any other top UK university. Of course, it’s important to check specific distance learning regulations in your country, but it may help to know that:

  • OU degrees are widely recognised across Europe under the Bologna process.
  • the OU is formally accredited in the United States – our accreditation, by the Middle States Commission, was re-affirmed in 2020.
  • our business school is one of the very few schools around the world to be accredited by all three of the top management accreditation bodies.
 
 
OU student studying at home
 
 

It is an honour to be part of the OU’s 50th anniversary as it celebrates its two millionth student and its now global reputation as a university committed to education for all. As one of its first tutors in the early 1970s, I have followed its remarkable progress.

Dr Gordon Brown – Former UK Prime Minister and OU Associate Lecturer
Find out more about recognition of OU qualifications where you live.

 


 

International stories

Our students are a worldwide community of one-offs, a network of free thinkers in 180 countries and counting.

Talia - International OU student
 
 
Colm - International OU student
 
 
Sridev - International OU student
 
 
Find out more about our student stories.

 


 

Studying in English

Our flexible approach to study means you can achieve your OU qualification from virtually anywhere in the world. But to study with us, you'll need a good grasp of the English language.

As a student, that means being able to read and understand the language of your study materials, use these sources to express your thoughts and opinions, and write essays or reports for assignments and exams.

If you’re not sure whether your English is good enough, our interactive quiz can help you find out.

 


 

Your guide to distance learning

As a world-leading university for online, distance education, you can expect:

  • high-quality learning materials, created specifically for your modules
  • expert tuition from our tutors, many of whom work in industry
  • the opportunity to connect with other OU students worldwide, to share, collaborate and network
  • support before, during and even after your studies.

But we’re sure you’ll have plenty of questions about studying with the OU. So, to get you started, we’ve put together a guide to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about studying at a distance with the OU.

 
 
 
 

 

Choosing your course

At The Open University, we offer hundreds of qualifications in a wide range of subjects, from bachelors degrees to postgraduate masters degrees. There’s something for everyone.

Find out more about the undergraduate and postgraduate courses we offer.

Undergraduate courses

  • Bachelors degrees
  • Diplomas
  • Certificates
Browse our undergraduate courses
 
 

Postgraduate courses

  • Masters degrees
  • Postgraduate diplomas
  • Postgraduate certificates
Browse our postgraduate courses
 
 

 

Need some help?

We’re here to answer your questions. Our website is full of information to support your decision making, but if you can't find what you need online, we offer several ways to contact us.

Contact the OU.