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Informal learning

As part of The Open University’s mission to widen access to higher education, OUBS has developed a wide range of free online learning resources – helping to bridge the gap between informal and formal learning.

OpenLearn: the home of free learning

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OpenLearn is packed with fascinating free articles, blogs, discussions and mini-courses from the OU, covering a huge range of subject areas.

Highlights include a group of finance-related resources including a feature on how shops make us part with our money and free courses such as:


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FutureLearn is the OU’s MOOC (‘massive open online courses’) platform, designed to help people all over the world engage and interact with high quality learning, no matter where they live or what their circumstances. They can also be a gateway to formal study. Some of our courses, such as Business and Finance Fundamentals, carry credit points that students can put towards awards like the MBA or BA in Business Studies.

OU/BBC partnership

For half a century the OU has produced programmes with the BBC, starting with late night lectures (before the days of video and online learning) and evolving into today’s prime time TV and radio shows – designed to engage millions of viewers and listeners with entertaining, informative and educational content. High profile business-related programmes include Flatpack Empire, Economics with SubtitlesThe Bottom Line and The Bank. This video showcases some of the latest programmes from the Business and Law Schools.

For more information on The Open University’s work to widen participation in higher education, visit our Mission page on the main OU website.

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