01 Oct 2009

The OU, YouTube EDU’s largest UK university channel, welcomes its European launch

The Open University’s YouTube channel, the largest and most popular of the UK university channels, welcomed today’s European launch. The portal, launched in the US in March, provides a one-stop-shop for all university content on YouTube. From today it includes videos from 45 universities in six countries in Europe* and Israel, with users now able to select videos by subject and language.

The Open University’s 633 videos have been viewed over 1.6 million times. The Head Spin viral alone received over 480,000 views, after The Thatcher Effect – a psychology experiment from the 80s - was discussed on BBC show QI. Other popular views are a playlist of 90 second lectures with big thinkers at The Open University; mind tricks such as We can read your mind and Mindbender; big questions such as How do they choose the next Dalai Lama?, How beautiful was Cleopatra?; and behind the scenes of OU/BBC broadcasts such as videos from the set of Bang Goes the Theory.

John Naughton, Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at The Open University, says: "As we move from a media ecosystem dominated by broadcast television into one dominated by 'pull' media like the Web, universities have to be where the action - and the demand - is. Given that The Open University has multimedia in its institutional DNA, YouTube EDU is an obvious platform for us and it's good to see that a significant number of our European partners have come to the same conclusion."

Anna De Paula Hanika, Associate Product Marketing Manager for YouTube in EMEA, added: "YouTube EDU is a global classroom where everyone - from those who want to see what university courses are like, to intellectually curious graduates - can watch and engage with a range of academic videos that have been uploaded by some of the world's most prestigious universities. Our education destination is a direct response to our community's interest in this type of content and we look forward to adding even more institutions over time."

The Open University launched four official channels on YouTube in August 2008 – OUView for videos about the University, OULearn for learning materials from OU courses and BBC broadcasts, OULife for student and staff events and OUResearch.

It is not just OU course content but a real conversation, viewers of the BBC/OU Saving Britain’s Past series have posted videos describing what they consider as their heritage

The latest OU videos include interviews with leading experts in subjects such as Cannabis and consciousness and Why space missions fail,; ‘How to’ videos such as Making a CD case out of a card and How to make diamonds, How to spot a fake pound coin and a home makeover video on eco-renovations.

*France, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom

Editor's Notes
The Open University (OU) is the UK’s largest university and the world leader in distance education. More than two million people have studied with the OU since it began in 1969. The OU has more than 200,000 students in over 40 countries studying for a variety of degrees and vocational qualifications ranging from short courses to PhDs. Independent authorities have consistently ranked the OU in the top five UK universities for teaching quality and virtually all of the University’s research areas have received ratings of national or international excellence. OU students are more impressed with the quality of their courses and the support received than those at any other UK university, based on the findings of the National Student Survey. The OU has been at the top of the rankings every year since the survey began in 2005.

YouTube is the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on and across the Internet through websites, blogs, and e-mail.

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