Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Former BBC thought leader Peter Horrocks, OBE, has launched Radical Reinvention intiative at the Open University.

"We want to transform the ‘university of the air’ envisaged by Harold Wilson in the 1960s to a ‘university of the cloud’ – a world-leading institution which is digital by design and has a unique ability to teach and support our students in a way that is responsive both to their needs and those of the economy."

The annual budget of the OU is £420m - £35-40m will go in straight cuts, £65-70m will come from budgets to be "re-invested" in technology, re-designing courses, and re-training. Horrocks' targets: ending duplication and inefficiency resulting from piecemeal development; courses on the curriculum which were once popular but which now struggle to cover costs and others which have never attracted many students; research costs which outstrip grant income.

There isn't unanimous joy on the OU's Facebook page: one student commenter notes "My impression is that the OU was very much in the clouds and forgot it had students living on earth still. Never mind where it's coming from, the Air or the Cloud, the 'new' OU has quite a way to go before it can bring again to students the level of human support and response it used to provide."

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