14 Sep 2012

OU appoints new Director for its international business division

Lal Tawney

Lal Tawney

The Open University has appointed Lal Tawney as Director of Global Direct, the University’s business plan for expanding its international student base. His appointment takes effect from 1st September 2012 when he also formally joins the Business Development Unit Leadership Team.
Lal brings a breadth of strategy, change, and marketing experience to the role.

Lal previously filled the position of Interim Director of Europe where he focussed on working in tandem with stakeholders across the OU with the aim to expand business operations throughout Europe. He has also worked as a management consultant with the OU for a number of years and has been involved with multiple high-profile projects across the University.

Before joining the OU, Lal held senior management positions with KPMG, Barclaycard and Santander. He is an Open University alumnus having attained a MBA and a Diploma in Management Studies as a sponsored student. In addition, he holds an MSc in Operational Research from the University of Birmingham, and a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics & Computing from Staffordshire University.

As Director of Global Direct, Lal will lead the delivery of the Global Direct business plan. The OU has over 15,000 students registered outside of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, most of which are based in Europe. Global Direct aims to increase the OU’s student base both inside and outside of the EU by offering a broader range of qualifications and equivalent access to tutors and online tutorials. Additionally, foreign students will pay the same rates as English students, and will be fully integrated into programmes alongside their UK peers.

Lal’s initial focus will be on setting up the capabilities and team to execute the business plan and will now drive through the appointment processes for his team.

Steve Hill, the Commercial Director of the OU’s BDU, said: “I am delighted to have Lal on board in this pivotal role to drive forward the University’s international ambitions.”

Lal added: “This is an exciting time to be joining the Open University to lead the international growth. The global demand for top class facilities and services is increasing, as are expectations for flexible learning patterns and qualifications that will really make a difference to careers. With our market leading range of qualifications and cutting edge technology, the Open University is in a fantastic position to extend its worldwide presence.”

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