The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas
The Open University is a world leader in modern distance learning, the pioneer of teaching and learning methods which enable people to achieve their career and life goals studying at times and in places to suit them. We promote educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
Through academic research, pedagogic innovation and collaborative partnership we seek to be a world leader in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning. The OU is the biggest university in the UK with: more than 260,000 students; close to 7,000 tutors; more than 1,200 full-time academic staff; more than 3,500 support and administrative staff.
The Open University Research Portfolio
The University supports a broad and vibrant research and enterprise portfolio and fosters research teams able to compete with the best in the world.
The results of the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) placed The Open University in the UK’s top 50 higher education institutions, according to the Times Higher Education Table of Excellence published on 18 December 2008. The University achieved the second largest improvement in UK research rankings, rising 23 places to 43rd.
More than 50% of the University’s research is rated ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) and 14% is ‘world-leading’ (4*). Submissions to the RAE were made by each of the OU’s seven faculties.
The RAE results evidence the quality and stature of the University and its research.
- The University’s design group — spanning design thinking, through to sustainability and complexity — now ranks third in the UK out of a field of 72.
- The Centre for Research in Computing leapt firmly into the top 20, achieving joint 16th place with Bristol, Bath, York and Aberystwyth Universities.
- The strength and excellence of the research supported by the OU Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research was also acknowledged with more than 70% of its multidisciplinary submission deemed world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
The Research School
The Research School is the policy and operational unit supporting research across the whole institution. It embraces five interlinked units: –
- The Research Grants and Contracts team provides expertise and support for the development and submission of research grants and contracts.
- The Innovation and Enterprise team supports the OU’s growing research and enterprise portfolio and manages intellectual property.
- The Research Careers Development team is responsible for providing the framework to support researchers at all stages of their career and provides structured support in collaboration with specialist faculty and HR offerings.
- The Research Degrees team is the main point of contact for postgraduate research students and their supervisors.
- The Research Strategy, Information and Governance team develops, implements and monitors the institutional research strategy. It also has responsibility for research governance, policy, management and reporting of research-related management information, and development and dissemination of institutional research publications and other communications. The remit includes management of institutional submissions to research assessment exercises (e.g. RAE 2008, REF 2014), statutory returns, coordination of research and enterprise-related consultations and management of institutional strategic research investment.