Britain's novel "Open University", the headquarters of which are at Milton Keynes, north-west of London, got under way this week.
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TRANSCRIPT: SEQS. 4, 6 & 8: Anastasios Christodoulou: The idea of an Open University was first talked about in this country some seven years ago, but it was as recently as January 1969 that a firm decision was taken by the British Government to establish one, and since that time the University has been setting itself up, appointing its staff, and working out its systems for dealing with very large numbers of students spread right across the country, studying part-time in their own leisure-time for University qualifications. We have now reached the point this week where we are launching 25 thousand students into our system. They are spread all over the country, and we shall be getting their learning material to them through the post by means of correspondence material which has been designed here at the University. We have some examples of this. This for example is a book representing one weeks work in mathematics, and this goes to the students, with various packages of ancillary material, and I have a couple more here, one in the social sciences, and one in science. The students also receive instruction and learning material through the medium of television and radio. The BBC is in partnership with us, and has been closely concerned with the development of these materials, and is completely concerned with the production of the broadcast elements. Now we also need to have a support system for the students, and we have divided up the U.K. into 12 regions. The University's headquarters are in a very rural area known as Milton Keynes, which is designated to become a large city by the end of this century.
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Background: Britain's novel "Open University", the headquarters of which are at Milton Keynes, north-west of London, got under way this week.
It will teach its 25,000 students, all of them over twenty-one, by television, radio, correspondence and face-to-face meetings with tutors. Most of these enrolled have no formal qualifications, and they will have a unique opportunity to gain a degree without being resident on a campus, or having to meet conventional entrance requirements.
The foundation courses at the University will be in arts, social science, mathematics and science. Further courses of a more technical nature, and for graduates and specialists, will begin in later years.
Six million pounds sterling ($13.4 million U.S.) will be spent in five years to get degrees for 25,000 students by the 'open' method. This compares with 20 million sterling (48 million U.S. dollars) which would be spent on 5000 students gaining their degrees by conventional University study.
There is strong interest in the methods of the Open University among the developing countries, and its founders are already planning to start an international University on the same lines.
On Saturday (January 8) the British National Extension College which began the Open University said it was founding a sister organisation, the International Extension College, to help meet the needs of the third world.
Based initially in London, it will be a world-wide operation, non-profit making, and financed by international foundations.
Speaking at the headquarters of the Open University, the Secretary Mr. Anastasios Christodoulou described its functions to the press.