Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
The Open University has signed a new agreement with Amity University in India, paving the way for closer collaboration between the two institutions. Amity is a leading educational group in India, with over 125,000 students and campuses in cities around the world, including in London. The Open University is the UK’s largest educational establishment, with over 170,000 students in the UK and internationally.
The new agreement will see the two institutions work towards a range of potential future collaborations, including:
Content licensing agreements, enabling Amity to use content developed for a limited number of OU courses;
Distribution of the OU’s award-winning Open Science Lab in India, Africa and the Middle East;
In addition, Amity have expressed an interest in the OU’s social learning platform, FutureLearn, both in terms of drawing on existing course content and also hosting their own courses on the platform.
The new agreement was exchanged at a special event in Amity’s main campus HQ in Uttar Pradesh, during which the OU’s Vice-Chancellor, Peter Horrocks, gave a guest lecture. Drawing on his experiences of working with the BBC (Mr Horrocks was formerly Director of the BBC World Service), he talked about the responsibility to think globally in both journalism and education.
Speaking at the event, the OU’s Director of External Engagement, Steve Hill, said: “Education transforms lives, and The Open University and Amity share a passion to open up education to people right around the world. This new agreement offers both institutions the opportunity to learn from each other, and see the world-leading expertise and learning innovation developed by the OU deployed for the benefit of students in India. We look forward to seeing this relationship develop further over the coming months and years, with the potential to benefit students around the globe.”
The event was also attended by the Vice Chairman of Amity University, Mr Ajit Chauhan.
Mr. Chauhan said: “The partnership between AMITY University, India & Open University, UK comes at an exciting time when online & distance education is peaking in India and this part of the world. We are looking forward to working with the team at Open University and bringing their expertise and experience to provide quality & value online education to students in India. Amity has a vision to bring world class best practices in distance & online education and this partnership is another step towards it.”
About The Open University
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 180,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.
The OU was given an overall satisfaction rating of 90% in the latest National Student Survey, making it one of only three Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to consistently score 90% or above every year since 2007. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent. The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.
The OU has a 42 year partnership with the BBC and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to co-producing prime-time series such as The Hunt, Life Story, The Bottom Line, Britain’s Great War, I Bought a Rainforest and Business Boomers. In 2013/14 OU co-productions were viewed by 220m people in the UK which prompted more than 600k visits the OU’s free learning website, OpenLearn. (http://www.open.edu/openlearn/).
Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which received 5.2million unique visitors in 2012/13, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 66 million downloads.