General
02 Aug 2012

OU academic awarded the British Society of Gerontology’s Outstanding Achievement Award 2012

Bill Bytheway, Visiting Research Fellow with the Faculty of Health and Social Care, has been awarded the British Society of Gerontology's Outstanding Achievement Award for 2012.

The award is given by a judging panel for a significant and lasting contribution to British gerontology, not just in the field of research but also in policy and in improving the quality of life of older people.
Bill is a long-standing member of the OU's Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies (CABS). Among his best-known achievements is the Research on Age Discrimination (RoAD) project. His book Unmasking Age (Policy Press) was published last year.

Receiving the award, he said, “I am pleased and honoured to receive this award. To a large extent, it is recognition of the work I have undertaken since 1991 in collaboration with other members of the Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies.”

Dean and Director of Studies, Faculty of Health and Social Care, Jeremy Roche said, ‘His work on age discrimination was innovative and ground breaking. I am delighted at this recognition of Bill’s excellent contribution to gerontology.”

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.

Health Education and Training (HEAT)
HEAT is an accelerated and scalable Healthcare Education and Training programme for frontline healthcare workers, providing them with vital healthcare skills and enabling them to stay living and working in their communities while learning. The programme launched in Ethiopia in 2011, with £4m UNICEF funding and in close partnership with the Ethiopian Government, the World Health Organisation and AMREF. Discussions are now underway to replicate the model across sub-Saharan Africa, helping the region reach and train the 1 million additional health workers needed to reach its Millennium Development Goals

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