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Open University posts £7m loss as student numbers slump

Chris havergal | times higher education | 3 march 2016

PA’s Mike Boxall, a higher education expert, is quoted in an article in Times Higher Education on issues facing the Open University.

The article explains that the Open University has seen a drop in numbers of students signed up for courses, a key factor leading to the institution's multi million-pound loss. 

Mike says that the OU had been squeezed by a “double whammy” of the “catastrophe” in the part-time and postgraduate sectors, and the entry of other universities into the online learning marketplace.


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He explains: “They have been hit by a market shift and competition for their core base. It is quite challenging for them to stand back and say ‘how do we reposition ourselves against these trends’.”

Mike goes on to say that the gradual erosion of the three-year residential degree as the dominant model of higher education could play to the OU’s strengths, but warns that the university’s progress in this area was not yet very visible.

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