We believe it is possible to create a better world by making higher education available to anyone, anywhere. Education enhances life chances and lifts people out of poverty. It creates new knowledge, expands horizons and inspires joy in learning. It underpins social change and respect for human rights and dignity. Making education available to all is our mission. Our work has been to spread learning, firstly to anyone in the UK; and now, with the benefit of 21st century networks and technology, to people all over the world. DONATE TO THIS PROJECT ON 7th, 8th or 9th DECEMBER 2009 AND YOUR GIFT COULD BE WORTH UP TO THREE TIMES AS MUCH TO THE OU. See www.open.ac.uk/thebiggive for details.
It ran from 3:10 PM, 4 September 2009 to 3:12 PM, 30 September 2009
Registered Charity in England and Wales (SC038302)
To achieve our Big Idea, we are focusing on the following areas: 1) To remove barriers to learning, whether these be social, financial or physical – or in the form of entry criteria. We have no entry criteria and, and are giving an opportunity for higher education to groups which are underrepresented in universities. We currently support more than 40,000 students financially, and have 10,000 students with registered disabilities. We are in need of financial support to cover the costs of activities such as bursaries and support for students with disabilities. 2) To develop technologies that enable education to be delivered, not-for-profit, anywhere on the planet, and to devise pedagogical models and content to best utilize these. For example, our online learning resource, OpenLearn, offers a full range of ‘taster’ courses free-of-charge, and is generating over two million visitors a year. We are also using iTunes software to make hundreds of lectures and other materials from current courses freely available over the internet. We are seeking financial support to research and develop the latest technologies through which we can deliver our distance learning programmes. 3) To make education available to the poorest in the world, to those with least access to it at present. The ambition is a global one, and has already begun with our OU in Africa programme, which works with thousands of teachers, and, as a result, benefits hundreds of thousands of children in nine countries and five languages across the continent. We are seeking financial support to build on this success, to create learning materials for teachers, healthcare workers and medical professionals in developing countries.
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