The Open University (also commonly referred to by its initialism OU) is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. The university is funded by a combination of student fees, contract income, and allocations for teaching and research by the higher education funding bodies in each of the four countries of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). It is notable for having an open entry policy, i.e. students' previous academic achievements are not taken into account for entry to most undergraduate courses. The majority of the OU's undergraduate students are based in the United Kingdom and principally study off-campus, but many of its courses (both undergraduate and postgraduate) can be studied off-campus anywhere in the world. There are a number of full-time postgraduate research students based on the 48 hectare university campus where they use the OU facilities for research, as well as more than 1000 members of academic and research staff and over 2500 administrative, operational and support staff. The OU was established in 1969 and the first students enrolled in January 1971.
- Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
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