“Nearness learning” is a more appropriate term for what the Open University’s business school offers, according to its dean in an interview for Which MBA, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit
When the Open University (OU) was founded in 1969, it represented one of the most important educational innovations of the 20th century, not just in Britain, but across the world.
Established by Britain’s then prime minister, Harold Wilson, it is considered by many to be the first university to offer genuinely high-quality degrees through distance learning. It was originally to be called the “University of Air”, because most of its lectures took the form of late-night broadcasts on the BBC. Indeed, for many Britons of a certain age the Open University will be a formative memory. Long before Britain had transformed itself into a 24-hour society, most will remember the sinking feeling of finding out that, come midnight, the only thing on their television was a hirsute OU professor, dryly working his way through the laws of thermodynamics.