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This timeline infographic shows the notable landmarks in the history and development of the Open Degree programme at The Open University.
Image : Open Degree timeline
Date: 2019
Video: Celebrating 50 Years Of "Open" Curriculum At The Open University
Duration: 00:02:18
Date: 2019

For over 50 years, the OU has been developing innovative models of qualification and module design for students choosing to study across subject boundaries, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  There is increasing evidence to suggest that real world problems do not fit into subject or discipline classifications, and that a multi-dimensional approach is required when knowledge is applied in the wider world.

From a single ‘General BA’ (as the current BA/BSc (Hons) Open degree was originally known), the OU has developed a full portfolio of multidisciplinary qualifications that enable students to graduate at undergraduate level with a Certificate of Higher Education Open, Diploma of Higher Education Open, a BA or BSc Open degree (with or without honours), a BSc (Hons) Combined STEM degree; and at postgraduate level, an MA or MSc Open degree.

Cross-disciplinary solutions are increasingly being recognised as a way to address key global challenges, as highlighted in the UK government’s research exploring the Future of Work and how jobs, and the skills needed in the workplace, will change by 2030 (UKCES, 2014).

A small celebration event was held to mark the occasion of 50 years of the Open Programme in 2019, as can be seen in the video on this page. There were several speakers at this event - and the transcripts of their speeches can be read on the Open Programme's blog site:
This exhibition celebrates the history, development, and value of these multidisciplinary ‘Open’ qualifications over the past half-century, in the context of changing external pressures and addressing debates around the coherence and acceptance of such a personalised programme of study.
Note: to make the Open Degree timeline image bigger, click on the "See full record" link and use the magnifying glass icon.

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