General
25 Apr 2016

Mumsnet founders honoured by The Open University

Justine Roberts

Justine Roberts

The founders of Mumsnet, the UK’s largest online network for parents, Carrie Longton and Justine Roberts, were honoured with Honourary Doctorates from The Open University at a degree ceremony in London’s Barbican Centre on Saturday 23 April.

Justine, who accepted the honour on behalf of herself and Carrie said: “I'm really chuffed to be receiving an honorary degree. The Open University has long espoused the values of open access, flexibility and adult learning, and thus in a way is one of Mumsnet's spiritual forebears.”

Mumsnet is a source of peer advice, grounded in real-life experiences and a supportive online community. The website has 85million views a month and its success has given parents a far greater political voice. Mumsnet regularly campaigns on issues including support for families of children with special educational needs, improvements in miscarriage care and freedom of speech on the internet.

Professor Jacqui Gabb, Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University, presented the honours and said: “The Mumsnet online resource has had a massive impact on today’s parents, giving them an open forum where they can research and discuss issues that are important to them. I am delighted to be conferring this honour to Carrie and Justine.”

More than 900 people attended the degree ceremony in London to celebrate their academic achievements. Many have combined study and work either full or part time, juggling family commitments and overcoming personal challenges. The flexibility of The Open University has meant that they could study where, and when, and how, it suited them.

The Open University was given its Royal Charter in 1969 and since it opened its virtual doors nearly 2 million people have studied with the OU.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

- The average age of an OU student is 29
- 30% of new undergraduates are under 25 years old
- 76% of students work full or part time whilst studying
- 86 FTSE100 companies have sponsored staff taking OU modules.
- Nearly 2 million people have studied with the OU since it was established in 1969

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