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Our 50th Anniversary

The OU celebrated its 50th year in 2019!

While much has changed since we were awarded our Royal Charter on 23 April 1969, our mission has stayed the same: to provide high-quality university education to all who wish to fulfil their potential, whatever their background.

Here is a showcase of our activities in Scotland in our 50th anniversary year - and highlights from the previous 50 years - shining a light on the students, staff and partners who have shaped our university. 

The Open University in Scotland's 50th Anniversary Year video
This short video reflects the OU in Scotland's celebrations and achievements in its 50th anniversary year.


EventsCollage of photos from events
A variety of events took place across Scotland, from the Highlands to the Borders, marking our 50th anniversary. Click on the image on the right to view a montage of some of those events. Please see our events webpage for details of future events in Scotland.


Highlights of news coverage about the OU's 50th anniversary include: Image of Scotland on Sunday article, 17 March 2019
- Scotland on Sunday: Insight: 50 years of the Open University
- The Herald: 50 years since the Open University transformed learning
- BBC News: The Open University marks 50 years since its inception
- The Sunday Post: 50 years of Open University: “If it hadn’t been for OU I would never be doing a job like this today”


Happy 50th Birthday OU in Scotland display Happy Birthday @OUScotland display thumbnail image
OU in Scotland students, graduates and staff took part in a Happy Birthday display, by sharing a social media post about what the OU meant to them, using #OU50Scot. Click on the image on the right to view the display.



OU's Scottish roots Jennie Lee and Creation of OU thumbnail image  
You can view a display about the life and legacy of the Scottish founder of The Open University, Jennie Lee, by clicking on the image on the right. Discover more about the Scottish roots of The Open University on the Our Story webpage and view an online exhibition about Jennie Lee on the OU Digital Archive.  



OU timeline, 1969 to 2019   OU 50 timeline thumbnail image        
You can view a timelime of the OU's first 50 years by clicking on the image on the right. This includes key milestones in Scotland and highlights innovations, from the design of the first light plastic microscope for Science Home Experiment Kits, to the ground-breaking Blue Planet II series. 


50 years of The Open Univerisity video 
This short video celebrates 50 years of The Open University. 


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