04 Nov 2010

Open University programme wins the Japan Award for the second year in a row

Boys from Al Muleilia Primary School

Boys from Al Muleilia Primary School

Open University programme wins the Japan Award for the
second year in a row

The Open University, the BBC and Lion Television series Syrian School has won the prestigious Japan Prize 2010 for a second year in a row. Two other OU programmes were also shortlisted The Virtual Revolution and Dementia Care Louise’s Story part of the series Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care Homes.

Syrian School beat 14 other entries from around the world in the International Contest (JPIC) for Educational Media. The prize was presented by the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs to Anne Stevens of The Open University in the presence of the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito at the NHK Broadcasting Centre in Tokyo.

The Japan Prize is an international educational programme contest. Its objective is to improve the quality of educational programmes around the world and to contribute to the development and fostering of international understanding and co-operation. It awards prizes in a series of categories including television, websites and educational games with audio-visual content.

Syrian School is a five-part series portraying pupils from varying backgrounds at very different primary and secondary schools in Damascus. It was broadcast on BBC Four in February and on BBC World Service in August. The OU’s academic advisors were Helen Yanacopulos and Giles Mohan (Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology) and Freda Wolfenden (Faculty of Education and Language Studies). Since its transmission Syrian School has been translated into 10 languages and has been shown in more than 40 countries.

Anne Stevens, Broadcast & Learning Executive, The Open University said it is enormously gratifying that The Open University has won the prestigious Youth category over two consecutive years. “Syrian School was a challenging programme to make but an important one and is a rare opportunity to observe the every day lives of school children in Damascus. This prestigious award is for The Open University programmes and the high-quality production values of our partners. All of the entries are different and have embraced the range of media available to ensure an extensive widespread audience.”

The Digital Emmy and BAFTA-award winning history of the Internet Virtual Revolution was shortlisted by JPIC in the Continuing Education Category in the Audio Visual Division. An initiative of The Open University’s Business School the programme was produced to explore the profound impact that the Internet has made on daily life. The other shortlisted programme was The Open University’s online programme Dementia Care, Louise’s Story made available on The Open University’s OpenLearn website and is now available on DVD.
Further information: Notes to editors
About The Open University
1. The Open University Worldwide makes available programmes to commercial and public service TV stations around the world.

2. The Open University is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.5 million students and has more than 250,000 current students, including 20,000 overseas, learning in their own time using course materials, online activities and content, web-based forums and tutorials and through tutor groups and residential schools. 2009 The Open University won the JPIC Award in the Youth Category for Jimmy Doherty in Darwin’s Garden.

3. 2009 The Open University won the JPIC Award in the Youth Category for Jimmy Doherty in Darwin’s Garden.

4. Syrian School
Virtual Revolution
Dementia Care, Louise’s Story

5. Japan Prize

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