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Law and Business achievements feature in anniversary year annual report

Open University Annual Report

The OU’s 2018-19 Annual Report, published this week, celebrates some of the highlights of an outstanding 50th anniversary year. The report, in a new digital format, covers just some of the many examples of the OU’s excellence in teaching and research, 50th anniversary celebrations and a powerful collection of student stories showcasing the power to change lives.

The UK’s youngest Law graduate, Zahra Alidina, is one of the 10 stories highlighted in the 50th Anniversary Photography Collection. The OU commissioned renowned British photographer Chris Floyd to capture 10 original portraits of remarkable modern students, together with releasing 10 iconic images from the OU Archive.

The OU’s teaching and research excellence is highlighted by the £6.7 million funding from Research England to expand its Astrobiology research group. Now known as AstrobiologyOU, the group will address fundamental questions about life beyond Earth including long overdue research into issues of space law and governance.

Social justice is at the heart of the OU’s social mission which includes students in secure environments (prisons and secure units) studying with us. First-class Law graduate CJ Burge, who features in a short video showcasing this work, is one of the best examples of people who have transformed their lives for the benefit of society.

The award-winning Open Justice Centre also has some prison-related projects within its portfolio, as well as many diverse successfully completed, ongoing and future projects in its relatively short history, and is well represented within the annual report.

For our sister Business School, there is similarly broad coverage in the annual report as MBA alumnus Tillmann Henssler from Germany is featured to show the OU’s international appeal. Tillmann was one of only 33 business school graduates honoured this year by AACSB International, the world’s largest business education alliance, as the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders.

The OU has an excellent academic reputation in Germany, and with its triple accreditation, it's in the top one per cent of the world's business schools. Big employers value the MBA programme, and the courses are recognised all over the world.

Tillmann Henssler

One of the shining examples of the OU’s impact on education is with the major new partnership with North Yorkshire Police to deliver specialist education for its officers from July 2020.

The free personal finance course, Managing My Money for Young Adults, which launched on FutureLearn having already been available on the OpenLearn digital platform, is also one of many examples where generous donors have made a difference. In this case, it is the Chartered Accountants’ Livery Company Charity (CALC) in partnership with the Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin).

The OU’s Business Development Unit (BDU) also released its third annual Business Barometer Report in July 2019, monitoring the skills landscape of the UK.