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Governance

The Open University (OU) operates across all four nations of the UK and it is a global provider of high-quality, supported online distance learning. We are the fourth largest university in Scotland in terms of student numbers.

Open University in Scotland Director, Susan Stewart, speaking at a graduation ceremonySusan Stewart joined the OU in Scotland as Director in 2015. Susan (pictured) is responsible for the overall management of the OU in Scotland, its strategy and leadership work as one of Scotland’s 19 universities. She is responsible for championing the interests of the institution at the highest levels with government, policy makers and funders in Scotland. She is vice convenor of Universities Scotland Learning and Teaching Committee.

There are four Depute Directors in Scotland:

  • Kate Signorini, Strategy, Planning and Resources
  • Marie Hendry, External Engagement and Partnerships
  • Shona Littlejohn, Student Experience and Widening Access
  • Jane Ferguson, Marketing and Communications

Meet more contacts from the OU in Scotland team

Professor Tim Blackman is the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University which is the chief academic and administrative officer.

The University’s executive governing body is the OU Council, which is the body corporate, the owner of the assets of the institution and the employer.

The University’s Academic Governance Structure is headed by the Senate which is responsible for promoting the academic work of the University in teaching, learning, and research and enterprise. 

Other key roles are the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor. The University’s Chancellor is Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho. The Pro-Chancellor is Malcolm Sweeting.

Scottish External Advisory Group

The Scottish External Advisory Group (SEAG) provides strategic advice and advocacy for our work across Scotland. It is chaired by Scottish Council member Professor Paul Gray.

SEAG membership reflects expertise across Scottish commercial and public life including education, business, parliament, science and culture. The experience of members supports strategic themes and future issues such as higher education funding, sustainability, and inclusivity. 

Aims:

  • Act as ambassadors for the OU in Scotland, helping maintain and strengthen the OU’s reputation and advance its interests.
  • Advise The Open University on matters relating to further and higher education in Scotland. 
  • Monitor and advise on the impact of Scottish legislation and developments in policy and practice in Scotland to ensure appropriateness of Open University provision. 
  • Promote partnership and collaboration.

Members: 

  • Paul Gray, Chair 
  • Peter Aitchison
  • Nick Barley 
  • Sandy Begbie
  • Tracy Black
  • Tressa Burke
  • Sean Duffy
  • Anna Fowlie
  • Josie Fraser
  • Anne Glover
  • Iain Gray
  • Carol Hunter
  • Fiona Lees
  • Aileen McKechnie
  • Fiona McQueen
  • David Newall
  • Mike Robinson
  • Susan Stewart
  • Talat Yaqoob​

General enquiries

Email Scotland
Call 0131 226 3851

Study enquiries

Prospective students:
visit new student enquiries

Current OU students:
log in to StudentHome for your personalised contact details

Freedom of Information request

Please visit the Freedom of Information webpages.