Vice-Chancellor of the OU, Martin Bean
Martin Bean, the new Vice-Chancellor of The Open University today called on Higher Education to deliver genuine flexibility to help individuals, and employers, improve their skills. He addressed the CBI Higher Education Summit alongside the Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, David Willetts, Shadow Secretary of State for Universities and Skills, and Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI.
The Summit focused on how HE and business can enhance partnerships and deliver world-class graduates and discussed the challenges facing the sector in the light of reductions in government funding.
Martin Bean said: “The Open University has always championed high-quality education as a human right, particularly in a developed economy like the UK. The skills base of a country is the country’s economy, and traditional routes to HE cannot keep pace with the ever rising numbers of students looking to train, enhance their qualifications and often re-skill to match the needs of potential employers.
“A third of all UK students are now part-time. The OU is a powerhouse behind 21st century skills - 75% of FTSE 100 companies sponsor staff on OU courses and 70% of our students work while they study, taking their new skills straight into the workplace.”
Martin Bean has been actively involved in the advancement of education policy and the reform of education to meet today’s growing need for more relevant, high-quality provision and innovative research. He was appointed to the government’s new online distance learning task force announced by HE Minister, David Lammy in June. The task force will advise on a wider strategy to help UK universities build on their existing world class reputations to access and engage future markets that are expected to value around £15bn in the future.
Martin Bean is The Open University’s fifth Vice-Chancellor and joined from the private sector with more than 20 years experience in training and education. He has held senior executive positions in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
About the online distance learning task force