Twelve key features of the United Kingdom Open University (OU) which, taken together, are game changing:
- Massive: 250,000 registered students a year, equivalent to 85,000 FTEs, of which 73% are 25 years old or older; one-third of all UK part-time undergraduates study at the OU; 70% are working part-time or full time;
- Full range of programs (undergraduate, masters, Ph.D.s, non-credit): 387,000 degrees awarded since inception
- Course design based on a strong pedagogical model
- Consistent model of course development and delivery across the university
- Courses are developed by the OU's 1,200 full-time faculty assisted by learning technology support staff; course delivery supported by 7,000 part-time academic 'tutors'
- Open: 45% of new undergraduates do not have minimum entry requirements for study at a traditional British university
- Massive provider of open educational resources: OpenLearn; iTunesU; YouTube; Open Research Online
- Unique partnership with national broadcaster (BBC)
- Accredited and teaching approved as 'excellent' by national quality assurance agency
- Regularly rated top UK university in national student satisfaction surveys; ranked 43rd of 181 UK universities in academic research
- Student tuition fees 50% below traditional universities
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