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‘I can’t imagine a more important institution to support and love’

Martha Lane FoxBaroness Martha Lane Fox, the sixth Chancellor of The Open University, shares her excitement about the university’s big birthday and “can’t imagine a more important institution to support and love”… 

“I have been lucky to hold many roles and wear several hats during my nearly-50 years on this planet. Without a doubt, one of the most rewarding and inspiring is being Chancellor of The Open University.

“It is not just about the gold robes (though I do rather enjoy wearing them) it is meeting our students and hearing such courageous tales of passion and determination, time and time again. Our learners prove to themselves, and to the world, that what may have seemed impossible can be achieved with the right support and with great strength of character.

“These qualities, of courage and of ambition, are what the OU was founded on back in 1969, when Harold Wilson and Jennie Lee saw their vision of open education come to life. It is with great pride that we celebrate our 50th anniversary as the UK’s largest academic institution, one which has helped to change millions of lives around the world.

“I can’t imagine a more important institution to support and love.”

Martha LAne Fox

Martha Lane Fox with OU graduate Ryan Peddie.

What is next?

“The OU matters because its motto sums it up in the best possible way: to live and learn. This is what the OU is all about: encouraging people to be curious, to get qualifications, to get confidence, to move on in whatever aspect they want to in their lives. That’s incredibly important, it’s even more important as we look into some of the biggest challenges that we face over the next decades.

“Now that we have reached this milestone, what is next? Well, this is a question that truly excites me. Our mission, of opening education for all, has never been more relevant than it is today.

“We must continue to strive to empower millions more to unlock their potential. We must support and care for each other and we must make education even more accessible.”

For now, I hope you will join me in taking a moment to appreciate just how far we have come since 1969. Happy 50th birthday Open University. To all the students past and present, staff and supporters who make the OU community what it is: many happy returns and here’s to an even brighter future!”

About Author

Robyn is Deputy Head of the Social Media Engagement Team in Communications. Formerly a newspaper journalist, she is an experienced comms professional working on a broad range of content for multiple channels. She likes walking her cocker spaniel, Ralphie, reading crime novels and anything that involves laughing.

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