The Open University
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Accreditation and league table rankings

National Student Survey

For the last five years, The Open University has been ranked first or second for overall student satisfaction in the UK in the National Student Survey (excluding specialist universities. In 2009, 94% of Open University students "definitely" or "mostly" agreed with the statement, "Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my course".

155 higher education institutions (HEIs) across the UK and 117 further education colleges (FECs) in England took part in the survey.

Teaching Quality

The Open University has been ranked number 5 for the quality of its teaching in the Sunday Times University Guide in the most recent table (2005). 86.7% of The Open University's taught subjects were considered "excellent".

Rank Institution % of excellent subjects since 1995
1 Cambridge 96.3
2 Loughborough 94.4
3 York 93.8
4 London School of Economics 87.5
5 The Open University 86.7
6 Oxford 85.7
7 Essex 84.6
8 Imperial 81.8
9 University College London 77.4
10 St. Mark and St. John 75

USA Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Open University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Open University is one of only two UK higher education institutions to gain MSCHE accreditation.

OU Business School - Assurances of Quality

The OU Business School is accredited by the world's top management education associations - AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA - an achievement that puts us in an elite group. Less than one business school in a hundred worldwide is quadruple accredited.

The OU Business School was the first business school offering exclusively distance learning to gain international accreditation from AACSB, the leading recognition body in the USA.

In 2005, the OU Business School was re-accredited with the prestigious European management development kitemark (EQUIS) by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). The OU Business School was also the first business school to receive the EFMD's Certification of elearning (CEL), recognising the innovative quality of the Professional Diploma in Management.

The Association of MBAs (AMBA)
The OU Business School's MBA programmes are accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) which uniquely represents the interests of MBA students and graduates, leading business schools and MBA employers.

Research at the OU

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is a periodic Government audit designed to evaluate the quality of research in universities and colleges throughout the UK for each recognised discipline. The most recent exercise (RAE 2008) saw The Open University climb in the UK research league tables based on the assessment of its performance. The table below shows the proportion of research, in each of the units of assessment submitted by the University, deemed to be either world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised.

Unit of assessment World class and international quality
Computer Science & Informatics 100%
History of Art, Architecture & Design 100%
Earth Systems & Environmental Sciences 95%
Geography & Environmental Studies 95%
Social Work and Social Policy & Administration 95%
Music 95%
Statistics & Operational Research 95%
Philosophy 95%
Art & Design 90%
English Language & Literature 90%
History 90%
Metallurgy & Materials 90%
Sociology 85%
Development Studies 85%
Education 85%
Classical Studies 85%
Business & Management Studies 80%
Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies 75%
Biological Sciences 70%
Mathematics 70%
Accounting & Finance 65%

Most Satisfied Students*

Institution** 2008 2009 2010
University of Buckingham 96% 92% 95%
St Mary's University College     94%
Open University 94% 94% 93%
University of Oxford 92%   93%
University of St Andrews     93%
Aberystwyth University     92%
University of Cambridge 93% 91% 91%
University of East Anglia 91% 90% 90%
University of Exeter 91% 90% 90%
University of Sussex 86% 86% 90%

*Institutions are ranked on the percentage of students who "definitely" or "mostly" agreed with the statement, "Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my course".

**Excludes specialist universities

Source: HEFCE (published in The Guardian and Times Higher Education)

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