17 Mar 2015

The Open University helps honour a year of MK business achievement at annual awards

MK Business Awards 2015

MK Business Awards 2015

The Open University sponsors the annual Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards and its senior figures joined with other local academic and business leaders for a gala presentation evening.

The Open University’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Blackman and in-coming Vice-Chancellor, Peter Horrocks, joined other local university vice-chancellors and business leaders at the 2015 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards on Thursday 12 March.

For the second year running, The Open University sponsored the event, with Commercial Director, Steve Hill, joining the judging panel and presenting one of the awards.

The gala dinner was held at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel at Stadium MK, and was attended by over 500 guests from local businesses. The evening was compered by the BBC's former chief news correspondent, Kate Adie, who shared some of her stories about reporting from war zones around the world.

The awards covered a range of categories, including community impact, design and creativity, and environmental sustainability, with Steve Hill presenting the award for Business of the Year to Bletchley Park.
Steve Hill, said:

"Milton Keynes has been home to the OU since we were established almost 50 years ago, and we have grown up together during that time. As well as being a major local employer, the OU benefits greatly from the networks we have established with local businesses and these awards present a great opportunity to celebrate success."

The awards also saw MK Dons Chairman and OU Honorary Graduate Pete Winkelman pick up a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the local economy.


Notes to editors

OU media contact:
Christie Drabwell, Media Relations Officer on 01908 654316 or

About 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 1.8 million students and has almost 200,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

The OU is rated in the top ten of UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, since the survey began in 2005. In 2013/14 it had a 91% 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 latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

The OU has a 41-year partnership with the BBC and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to co-producing prime-time series such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, Britain’s Great War, I Bought a Rainforest and Business Boomers. 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 received 5.2million unique visitors in 2012/13, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 66 million downloads.

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