24 Jan 2014

Martin Bean appointed as UK business ambassador by Prime Minister

The Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, has been appointed as a Business Ambassador by the UK Government. He joins a group of leading figures from a range of sectors, selected to help strengthen the UK’s overseas business networks and promote the UK on the international stage.

Martin Bean has been the Vice-Chancellor of the UK’s largest university since 2009. In that time he has been invited to join the Prime Minister on several overseas trade delegations, the latest being to China in December last year. His appointment as a Business Ambassador means he will have a role in promoting the UK abroad and raising the country’s reputation as a place to do business.

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said:
“I am proud that The Open University enables students from all walks of life to realise their potential. UK Higher Education is the best in the world and is worth over £11bn to our economy. This appointment is not only an honour, but a great opportunity for me to show the world what UK Higher education can do to transform lives, drive innovation and build the workforce of today and tomorrow.”

The announcement was made as the Government outlined a new initiative to encourage companies to bring production back to the UK.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Livingston said:

“Exports to high-growth markets like China, India and Brazil are at all-time highs and the UK is the number one destination for foreign investment in Europe. However there is still more to do to.

“This means more support for medium-sized and small companies looking to export, more determination to attract industry from around the world to our shores and a resolve to make sure that British firms benefit from trade deals that are being negotiated.”

Notes to editors

A full list of UK Business Ambassadors is available on the UK Trade & Investment website:

The Open University is the UK’s largest university with more than 200,000 students. It has been rated in the top five for student satisfaction in the annual National Student Survey every year since the survey was launched.

In December 2012, Martin Bean announced he was bringing together 23 leading UK universities along with The British Library, British Museum and British Council to launch FutureLearn, the UK’s first provider of Massive Open Online Courses.

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Further details on Martin Bean are available on The Open University website:

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