Open University, headquartered at Milton Keynes, England; founded 1969 as the Univ. of the Air. In 1971 a distance learning program was begun that now consists of correspondence courses integrated with television broadcasts, online and other computer resources, audio and video recordings, residential summer schools, and a counseling and tutorial service that operates through a network of regional offices and local study centers. Students (over 180,000) are usually over 21, working full-time, and studying in their spare time. The university's faculties include arts, business, education and language studies, health and social care, law, mathematics, computing, and technology, science, and social sciences. It has served as the prototype for similar programs throughout the world.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.