First Open Univeristy Graduates
The Open University may prove to have been the single greatest achievement of Harold Wilson ís time in power. This was an age when bodies were created which actually did something for society, rather than reporting on why action was needed but not possible: the visionary behind the OU, Michael Young, was also involved in establishing the consumer Association and the National Extension College.
Still (rather uncreatively) the butt of skits about bearded and nylon-shirted lecturers pointing maniacally at diagrams on blackboards, the OU from its Milton Keynes base has in fact long been at the forefront of harnessing technology in education. When it began late-night air-time on BBC channels provided the medium for many of its lectures. In the 1990s it was a leader in bringing in online learning, an area where it remains an innovator as in so many other areas.
On January 11 1973 the OU produced its first graduates. Since then more than two million people have benefited from the institution, including some famous names like football manager Craig Brown; actors Lenny Henry and Sheila Hancock ; and musician Myleene Klass .
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