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The first 10 years 1969-1979

(page 5 of 5)
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Clip: First OU graduation
Duration: 00:02:36
Date: 1973

In 1972 the number of Open University students increased to 36,000, including 50 post graduate students.

At the end of 1972 900 students gained degrees after just two years of study due to credit exemptions.

On the 23rd June 1973 the first OU degree ceremony was held at Alexandra Palace and was broadcast live on BBC2. Watch a clip of the ceremony on this page. 

At the ceremony Lord Gardiner was installed as the second OU Chancellor (the first Chancellor, Lord Crowther, died in 1972). Among the first honorary graduates were Jennie Lee, Peter Venables, Lord Campbell of Eskan (Chair of the Milton Keynes Development Corporation), Jane Drew (Open University Architect), Paulo Freire and Michael Young.

Between 1971 and 1979 the student body increased to 70,000. By the end of the 1970s, 6000 people per year were graduating with the OU and 130 undergraduate courses were being offered by the University.

In 1979 the OU celebrated its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion Her Majesty The Queen visited the OU campus. A 25 minute programme about the Queen's visit to the campus is available to watch on the Digital Archive.

The first 10 years 1969-1979 (page 5 of 5)