UK’s Largest University Launches Across 21 Countries

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The Open University (OU) has launched its range of latest degree programmes across Europe with the new website

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The OU launches across 21 countries after celebrating 40 year anniversary

The decision to study for an OU MBA was definitely the right choice; After all, I was the first woman to be promoted to General Manager in the history of the company. Irene Adler, General Manager at Mori Seiki

The Open University (OU) is expanding with the launch of a bespoke, interactive site for European students wanting to access the renown University and its flexible, online degrees, elearning study and support system.

Rated by students in 2012 as the most satisfying university in the UK*, The Open University offers qualifications ranging from MBA, postgraduate and undergraduate courses, across a variety of subjects via its unique distance learning method. The OU Business School is triple accredited (AMBA (UK), EQUIS (Europe) and ACCSB (USA)) of which only 1% of business schools worldwide hold.

Launched in 1969 with 25,000 students The Open University now has just under a quarter of a million students registering on modules each year. Teaching material is delivered through a Virtual Learning Environment offering a rich mix of text and audio resources and student forums.

The Open University’s distance learning part time delivery allows students to earn while they learn. This modular study approach means students can study their preferred subjects when and where they want. There is a personal tutor for each module and a student:tutor ratio of approximately 18:1 ensures quality of support and guidance at all times.

Matthew Brown, Digital Marketing Director, Open University Global Direct said: “The high standards achieved by our graduates are recognised by employers – 80 of the largest FTSE 100 companies in the UK have sponsored their employees on Open University courses. Part of the success of The Open University is our support structure. With tutor support throughout a student’s studies, online forums, webinars, 11,000 hours of learning materials on our OpenLearn website, content on iTunes U or more than 800 videos on our YouTube EDU channel, there is a wealth of materials to support students throughout their studies, and it is all inclusive in the fees charged. "

The academic excellence of The Open University is another factor, as Matthew explains: “Almost two thirds of our research is classed as either World Leading or Internationally Excellent”.
The OU has 25 Affiliated Research Centres worldwide including the Health Protection Agency, Transport Research Laboratory and the UK Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia.

Across the University research is being conduct with the aim of benefiting society. For example a team in the OU’s Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology are developing an automated outbreak detection system that will be faster and more comprehensive than current methods.

The OU also has a leading role in the UK’s involvement in the next mission to Mars. ExoMars is a series of missions to Mars scheduled for launch in 2016 and 2018. The Department of Physical Sciences is involved in research, design and production of instruments in four key areas of this mission.

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 250,000 current students.

The OU is rated the top university for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, and has been in the top three universities every year since the survey began in 2005.

Our academic excellence is underpinned by a thriving research base which inspires and informs our teaching. Almost two thirds of our research is classified as either World Leading or Internationally Excellent. Open University academics are developing instruments and software for the next European Space Agency/NASA space mission; working on new treatments for cancer; developing better ways to spot disease epidemics and predict volcanic eruptions; using sound to help boost crop production, and much more.

After completing A levels Irene studied languages at a business academy in Vienna. Since 2001 she has been based in Germany, working in marketing and corporate communications for international mechanical engineering companies.    After several years in management for Marketing Asia and Europe for Mori Seiki, a Japanese machine tool manufacturer, she was promoted to General Manager of Global Marketing in 2011.     This stirred a desire to broaden her business knowledge and leaderships skills by undertaking an MBA.    

Irene chose the Open University Business School because she wanted to study in English and at a triple-accredited European business school.

Despite a demanding career, Irene completed her MBA in three years. “Because I’m on business trips most of the time, the flexibility of distance education is very handy. I did not need to lug heavy books around and often learned by downloading digital version of the study materials onto my iPad or logging onto The Open University’s online study site. When I needed to talk to someone about my studies, I never felt alone. My tutors were there when I needed them, and I could exchange experiences with fellow students I met during tutorials in Munich and at several residential sessions in Brussels. While travelling, I used email, telephone or the OU’s online student platform to communicate. At home in Munich, I met fellow students several times to study together and also to occasionally socialise.

“The decision to study for an OU MBA was definitely the right choice; I have developed my knowledge beyond marketing which took my career to the next level and I have gained experience in an international global M&A process, being involved in corporate strategy first hand.    During my studies, Mori Seiki began a strategic partnership with a German machine tool manufacturer and I was appointed by our board to join the internal team that managed the merger and acquisition process. My MBA studies certainly played a major role in the appointment, in addition to my sound knowledge of the company, my language skills as well as my understanding of working between and with many different cultures."

*National Student Survey

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Ralf Maushake
Open University
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