Open University

The Open University, established by Royal Charter on 23 April 1969, is the leading university for flexible, innovative and world-leading research in the United Kingdom and in over 100 countries worldwide. They are uniquely placed to understand the needs of part-time students, and their innovative, award-winning distance teaching credentials have seen over 2 million students receive an education otherwise denied to them at campus-based universities.

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What we are doing together

The OU works with Collab Group colleges to deliver HE (including higher and degree apprenticeships) to employer networks as a progression destination for learners.

The OU offers Collab Group a range of higher education services that support member colleges to deliver more of the education and training needed locally by people of all ages, and by local and national employers.

The OU accredits colleges to deliver their own HE, with the assurance and award of the Open University, with the potential of producing joint programme development projects. The services also include providing professional development for their staff (including degree apprenticeships funded by the levy) and online curriculum and digitisation services to help colleges offer more blended and flexible programmes.

Collab Group supports the OU to promote their fantastic OpenLearn courses which are available free of charge on a diverse range of subjects.


Open University offers a range of services to enable distance learning.


Distance learning

As the only distance learning university in the UK, it gives students the opportunity to study when and where they want at their own pace.


Flexible Payments and Funding

Payments are made for individual modules, as they are being studied, rather than having to pay for the whole qualification upfront.



OU offers a range of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in England and Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland that are designed around employers’ needs.


Staff Training

Provision of CIPD-accredited training and accredits employers’ in-house training, enabling staff to gain a recognised qualification.

Latest News & Publications


a collab group position paper on the further education white paper

Find out more about the Collab Group position paper on the anticpated White Paper for further education colleges.


Further Education in 2020 a Prospectus for change

Collab Group has produced a series of policy recommendations that we think should inform the direction of future government spending within the further education sector.


Collab Group Statement on EDSK Further Consideration report

Collab Group Statement on EDSK Further Consideration report


Collab Group and the Skills Network are delighted to announce the two winners of the Peter Roberts Bursary Award 2020

The winners of the 2020 Peter Roberts Bursary have been announced.


Further Education in 2020: An Agenda for Change


Adult Education Budget and Devolution in England

Check out our latest paper on Adult Education Budget and Devolution in England