Cover

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The Open University

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

List of colour plates

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pp. x-xi

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Foreword by the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University

Martin Bean

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pp. xii-xiii

On 23 April 1969, the day The Open University came into being, our founding Chancellor Geoffrey Crowther set out his vision for the institution. It was a vision that went on to become our core ethos: to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.
Since then, we have continually strived to emulate Crowther’s ideals...

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Preface

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pp. xiv-xviii

In 1976 a Times Higher Education Supplement journalist argued that ‘the establishment and success of the OU will be remembered as one of the greatest achievements of this century’. He went on to suggest that ‘it is a difficult task to evaluate its contribution to British Higher Education … the book...

Part I. Creating a university of the air

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1. The challenge of The Open University

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pp. 3-30

The impact of The Open University (OU) has been enormous. It is available in many countries, has been reworked for many more and provides inspiration for a rich diversity of learners on their individual journeys. Through initiatives such as the National Open College Network some of its most successful...

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2. Opening a castle of the air

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pp. 31-72

The Open University has its roots in more than a century of engagement with those excluded from conventional higher education. It drew upon long-established practices of open access and correspondence courses. In the shorter term its commitment to supported and accessible learning was built on post–1945...

Part II. The first two decades

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3. Growth and acceptance, 1969–89

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pp. 75-121

The Open University embraced a dual commitment. Two founding Deans argued in 1971 that ‘higher education is the democratic right of anyone who can profit by it and it is in the nation’s interests to make maximum use of human resources’.1 The rationale of individual rights on the one hand and...

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4. Sensemaking and sociability: the first two decades of learning

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pp. 122-160

‘The first and most urgent task before us’, said Lord Crowther in his foundation speech, ‘is to cater for the many thousands of people, fully capable of a higher education, who, for one reason or another, do not get it.’1 The Open University’s first Chancellor made it clear that teaching and learning were...

Part III. The OU since the 1990s

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5. Convergence and divergence

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pp. 163-206

From the early 1990s onwards the OU became both more and less like the rest of the higher education sector. It was no longer directly managed by the Department of Education but instead shared in the evolution of the national funding councils. Where once it had been the only public UK university to...

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6. Pedagogies promoting participation

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pp. 191-228

The Open University has always faced the task of balancing independent study with collaborative learning. Stephen Brookfield observed that ‘all learning exhibits some independence’ and survey evidence suggests that many students at the OU favour working by themselves.1 At the same time the trend across...

Part IV. Half a century of learning

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7. Open to people

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pp. 231-274

In his inaugural speech as Foundation Chancellor of the OU, Geoffrey Crowther declared the new institution ‘open in many ways, but first of all to people’. The commitment to inclusivity was linked to an aspiration to aim ‘higher and wider’ than its acknowledged role as an ‘educational rescue mission...

Select bibliography

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pp. 275-276

Notes

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pp. 277-372

Index

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pp. 373-387

Color Plates

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