Happy 50th birthday to the Open University

Yesterday (23 April), the Open University (OU) celebrated its 50th birthday. Celebrities and graduates have been sending birthday messages across social media, to commemorate the day.

The Open University takes a flexible approach to education, which makes it a popular choice for young people and adults alike.

Founded in 1969, the OU operates in 157 countries, encouraging students and adults to continue their learning, in a way that is appropriate for them.


Many courses begin in school: theย Young Applicants in Schools Scheme (YASS) gives S6 pupils in Scotland the opportunity to gain university experience before leaving school, in a wide range of courses.

The university-level modules are carried out alongside school subjects, and provide an insight into university life.

Bridging the gap between school and university for many, it enables students to make informed choices about their futures.


It’s also a great option for those who wish to work alongside their degree, complete their learning part-time, or want to take some time to gain some employment experience before heading off to further study.

Since launching 50 years ago, the OU has given over two million students around the world the opportunity to gain access to further education, regardless of background and ability.

There are over 200 courses to choose from, delivered through distance learning. Courses can be completed full-time or part-time and students take control of their own learning, making decisions about their own timetables.


The OU’s radical approach to education makes it extremely attractive: for the majority of courses, there are no formal entry qualifications or entry tests required to be admitted.

However, students study online with other students, meaning you don’t miss out on the social aspect of university life. You also receive the support of a dedicated tutor on each module you study.

Though the approach to studying is extremely flexible, you’re still given deadlines for assignments and exams.

There is also the potential to receive help with tuition fees, meaning that a university education through the OU is accessible to everyone.

So, happy birthday to the OU, and thank you for making education available to all, no matter the circumstances. Here’s to the next 50 years ๐ŸŽ‰

For more information about YAAS, click here.

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