16 Jul 2012

Open University wins ‘Best 50+ continuing education provider’ award

Beverley Midwood, Tricia Waller & Tony O'Shea-Poon

Beverley Midwood, Tricia Waller & Tony O'Shea-Poon

The Open University has won an award for ‘Best 50+ continuing education provider’ in the 50+ Awards 2012, voted for by the public. The award was announced at the 50+ Awards Gala Reception at Olympia, London on Friday (13th July 2012).

The 50+ Awards 2012, organised and presented by the 50+ Show, are based solely on internet nominations and votes of people aged 50+. The Open University was shortlisted alongside the University of the Third Age and the Workers Education Association.

Tony O’Shea-Poon, Head of Equality and Diversity at The Open University, said: “It’s always great to win awards, and even better to be number one by popular acclaim. We’re thrilled to get this accolade from a generation that has grown up with The Open University. We pride ourselves in offering quality, flexibility and value, and that clearly appeals to our 50+ supporters.”

Dr Robert McCaffrey, organiser of the 50+ Awards, said: “Congratulations to the Open University for its win in the Best 50+ continuing education provider category. The Open University is a world renowned institution and a worthy winner of the 50+ Award.”

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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.

About the 50+ Awards
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