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Open University

The Open University (OU) was founded by Royal Charter in 1969 and began teaching undergraduates in 1971. Student numbers grew rapidly through the 1970s and by the end of that decade the university was developing a range of other programmes of study, including professional training and updating. In recent years, there has been substantial growth in postgraduate numbers, particularly in taught masters degrees. Overall student numbers in 2004-5 were 202,853 of which more than 20,000 were studying overseas for OU qualifications.

In 1993, Open University Validation Services came into being to continue work formerly undertaken by the Council for National Academic Awards.

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