The Open University is the world's first successful distance teaching and learning university. Born in Great Britain in the 1960s, the "White Heat of Technology" era, the Open University was founded on the belief that communications technology could bring high quality degree-level learning to people, who had not had the opportunity to attend campus universities.
Nowadays, the Open University, though being the distance teaching and learning university, has its own "physical" government. The University is governed by three statutory bodies; the Council, the Senate and the General Assembly. There are several faculties in the Open University. They include the following ones: Law; Arts; Mathematics, Computing and Technology; Science; Social Sciences; Health and Social Care; Business School; Education and Language Studies, etc.
The OU has been faithful to its mission of openness to methods. Over three decades various new media for teaching and learning have been adopted. Audio-cassettes and later video-cassettes gave students more autonomy. Then in the 1980s, personal computers opened up exciting new possibilities for many courses. Many students became enthusiastic about exploring CD-ROM and web-based materials.
By the mid-nineties the teachers of the University began the massive exploitation, of the Internet that has made the OU the world's leading e-university. Today more than 180,000 students are interacting with the OU online from home. Each week 25,000 students view their academic records online The Open Library receives more than 2 million page views each year. 110,000 students use the conferencing system. There are 16,000 conferences, of which 2.000 are organized by students themselves. This intensity of usage allows colleagues to do pioneering research on the most effective approaches to online teaching and learning, which gives the OU world leadership in this field.
The Economic and Social Research Council reports Britain towards 2010: "the Changing Business Environment heralds the Open University as offering a "vision for the future", as students and businesses demand a more flexible approach to learning. The open entry philosophy of the OU has meant that wise teaching, comparable in quality with other great universities, has been available to many people. The key to the Open University's success has been excellence in scholarship in teaching, in research and, above all, in the systems and methods which help people to learn and to succeed.
a distance teaching and learning university — университет с дистанционной системой обучения
on the belief — по убеждению
three statutory bodies — три органа управления
to be adopted — быть принятым
to become enthusiastic about exploring — с энтузиазмом исследовать что-либо
the massive exploitation of — огромная разработка; всеобщая эксплуатация
an e-university — an electronic university — университет, принадлежащий интернет-зоне
intensity — интенсивность; глубина
the most effective approaches — самые эффективные подходы (к обучению)
the open entry philosophy — идея открытого поступления (в университет)