The Open University’s campaign to mark its 50th anniversary has achieved a second award, this time on an international scale.
The campaign #OU50 has been recognised at the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence Awards 2020 where it was awarded Silver in the Year-Long Events category.
It follows a win announced recently in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) 2020 excellence awards.
Outstanding work across the education sector
The CASE international awards see hundreds of institutions enter from 27 countries, to praise outstanding work across the education sector. Speaking about the OU’s entry, CASE judges described the campaign as “faultless” and added:
“[The OU delivered] an excellent submission showcasing how a lack of a physical campus need not hinder fundraising, alumni engagement, and commemoration celebrations.
“The impact of all the events were maximised in a very clever way, utilising technology and social media, e.g. the OpenTALKS, “thunderclaps” and inaugural lecture series.”
The Open University’s campaign, #OU50, recently took the title in the CIPR Awards’ Education category, beating off stiff competition from universities, including Swansea University, University College London, and University of Oxford to win this prestigious award.
In announcing the OU as the winner on Wednesday June 3, judges said that The Open University had “successfully positioned themselves as a leader, drove revenue, and achieved outcomes for stakeholders – uniting a network of staff, students and alumni”.
Social justice at its heart and a unique story
The #OU50 campaign not only marked the institution’s 50th anniversary, but also showcased how social justice remains at the heart of its mission.
This was achieved by raising awareness of the OU’s unique story and its ongoing impact in the UK and on a global scale, whilst showcasing how the OU continues to shape the future of education.
The year-long campaign brought together the OU’s wonderful community with over 110 events from Edinburgh to Uganda – including a bumper Charter Day celebration in April 2019.
As well as physical events, the celebrations were taken online with over 6,400 messages shared across social media on the day, including special messages from honorary graduates such as Sir David Attenborough.
Supporting the next generation of students
The #OU50 campaign also witnessed the OpenTALKS series to celebrate our love of learning, where audiences heard the OU’s world-class academics, students and supporters.
The 50th anniversary provided an opportunity to support the next generation of students. As part of the fundraising campaign, a special 22ft Tree of Learning was commissioned – now housed at the Library on our Milton Keynes campus, culminating in a 50th Anniversary Scholarships Fund which has now raised its £50m target.
Speaking about the award win, Jhumar Johnson, OU Director of Development, said:
“The OU@50 campaign was truly a university-wide effort and would not have been achieved without the continued support of every faculty and unit across our four nations. Being recognised at the CIPR Awards as one of the best in our industry is something we should all be proud of. Thank you all.”
You can see the other CIPR Awards winners and read more about the OU@50 campaign.