Open University – the one-time home of boffins sporting wild hair, scraggly beards and questionable knitwear – is seeking direct, digital and data agencies as part of a statutory review.
The Government-funded organisation has posted an online tender for agencies offering direct marketing, data, advertising, media planning and buying, and creative production services.
A number of agencies handle OU activity in the UK, including Rapp, MRM Meteorite, and Jaywing. Legas Delaney runs the ad account. The combined account, run out of the OU head office in Milton Keynes, is worth about £10m.
Established in 1969, the vast majority of the OU’s 25,000 students are based in the UK, although it does have 50,000 from overseas. It has seen a surge in students since university fees were increased to up £7,000 annually in 2012. About a quarter of those enrolling in the past two years have been under 25 – the highest proportion the institution has ever taken on.
The OU is the largest academic institution in the UK – and one of the largest in Europe – by student number, and qualifies as one of the world’s largest universities. Since it was founded, more than 1.5 million students have studied its courses.
The first OU broadcast went out in black and white at 11am on 3 January 1971 on BBC2, at the time Clive Dunn was at No 1 with “Grandad”, while Radio Times cost a shilling.
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