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The Open University at 50

For the past fifty years, we’ve made it our mission to open up education for all. As the largest UK academic institution, we’ve empowered over two million students across 157 countries to transform their lives through learning – helping to make the impossible, possible every single day.  

During this landmark anniversary we have celebrated the life-changing successes and ground-breaking innovations of our OU family throughout our history so far. Here are just some of the stories, memories and highlights of a truly remarkable year. Here’s to the next 50!

The Open University at 50

Graduate crossing a road

'50 Years' Photography Collection

See 10 new student portraits captured by renowned photographer Chris Floyd, plus new images released from the OU Archive.

TV studio

Our unique story

We’ve had an incredible journey so far. Visit the OU’s Digital Archive to look back at highlights from the past fifty years.

The Future of Learning

Future of Learning

How will learning change in the next 50 years? Read our academics’ predictions for the future and imagine what’s next.

Sale at OUSA shop

Commemorative merchandise

Take home a piece of history by shopping our range of special edition OU 50 branded merchandise, stationery and clothing.


2019 Events Calendar

A year of unique events and inaugural lectures to celebrate our love of learning. Brought to you by our famous faces, students and world-class academics.

Graduation ceremony

Your stories

What’s it like to be part of OU history? Get inspired by our student stories and share your own unique experiences.