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The history of The OU

What other nation in the world could have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, The Open University, Gardeners’ Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit?

Bill Bryson
Author and honorary graduate of The OU

The Open University gained its Royal Charter in 1969. Moving from the original concept of the “University of the Air” to the University of the Cloud, the OU is as relevant tomorrow as it was in 1969 – however, our founding principles continue to drive everything that we do – to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

The OU Digital Archive contains a number of online exhibitions relating to the history of the OU. Visit the exhibitions page on the site to explore various aspects of the organisation’s history – or head straight to the OU Story Exhibition