The OU is closing doors

Times Higher Education, May 25, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

According to this letter in the Times Higher Education supplement, the Open University is closing regional offices in places like Leeds, Gateshead, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham. The author writes, "It seems to be odd timing when the political direction is to devolve power to English cities, with the university in an enviable position to take advantage of the possibilities that such devolution could bring." But the model of one central office with a bunch of branch offices isn't the same as decentralized. So what would a proper model look like? Each city and town with its own office, locally managed, with access provided to a variety of institutions, including OU, but also any other institution. Back in the 90s I called this 'the Triad Model' (I did not coin the term, but it fits perfectly).

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