31 May 2012

Arab OU Rector is The Open University’s new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Professor Musa Mihsein

Professor Musa Mihsein

The Open University has appointed Professor Musa Mihsein, the Rector of the Arab Open University, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic). Professor Mihsein will replace Professor Alan Tait, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Curriculum and Qualifications), on 19 November 2012.

Before joining the Arab OU, Professor Mihsein was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development at The University of Derby between 2006 and 2009. He has also held senior academic posts at De Montfort University and the University of Wolverhampton.

His qualifications include a First Class BSc (Eng); PhD & DIC in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London; plus an MBA from Newcastle University.

Professor Mihsein said: "I am both honoured and delighted to be chosen as the PVC Academic at The Open University at this challenging period facing the higher education sector in the UK. The University has a reputation for academic excellence and placing tremendous value on the student experience.

“It is also a university with a great vision and mission and I am proud to be given the opportunity to play a part in that in the coming years."

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Mihsein will have responsibility for the academic performance of the faculties; coordinating and approving faculty plans (with inputs from the other two Pro-Vice Chancellors); managing deans; and determining the academic size and shape of the University. This will include initiating and/or approving major shifts in curriculum areas, based on market and other information, and ensuring that faculties have plans for maximising opportunities for student growth and income generation.

The Open University Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Mihsein as Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) to help us build our academic performance and reputation.

“Professor Mihsein is a leader of great calibre who passionately identifies with our social mission. He has a track record in providing leadership of academic communities and will provide a global perspective on teaching and research. I am sure that he will be a great asset to The Open University in taking forward our teaching and research excellence.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Alan Tait who has played such a pivotal role in overseeing the strategy and operations of the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

“His work has been in driving our academic excellence has been immensely valued and we wish him all the best in returning to his role in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies.”

Professor Mihsein lives in Leicestershire with his wife and three children.


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Notes to editors

The Open University
The Open University (OU) 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 1.7 million students and has more than 264,000 current students, including 18,000 overseas.
The OU has been one of the top three UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2010/11 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.
Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 21 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 50 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Life, Coast, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.

The Arab Open University (AOU)
The Arab Open University is a non-profit organisation that adopts in principal a blended learning system. The AOU has its headquarters and a branch in Kuwait, with branches in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Lebanon and Oman. The University has over 31000 students across its seven branches with over 2000 employees and a turnover of USD$150m, with a capital program of around USD$120m for the next 18 months-2 years.
Students receive at least 25% of their tuition face to face, with the rest delivered according to the open learning mode. The AOU is structured in four faculties; Business Administration, IT, English Language & Literature and Education. All teaching is in English and the first three faculties follow the British Open University (OU) curricula. The OU licences the courses and they are accredited and validated by the OUVS and the ministries of education in the host countries.

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