Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, has announced that he will be leaving at the end of the year to take up a post at RMIT, Australia’s largest tertiary educator. He’s been at the helm during what has probably been the most tumultuous period since the OU was founded in 1969. Making sure that the OU survived in any recognisable form at all after the ill-thought out changes to HE funding introduced by the coalition has been no mean feat. I certainly wish him well for the future.

In his email today addressed to OU alumni he writes:

After five wonderful years at The Open University, I am stepping down at the end of this year as Vice-Chancellor of the OU. I am going back to my home town of Melbourne, Australia, where I will be taking up the role of Vice-Chancellor and President at RMIT University – an institution with values and a spirit similar to our own.

Throughout my time here, I have been clear that students lie at the heart of everything the OU does.  Without a doubt, the highlight of this job is presiding at our degree ceremonies – standing on the stage, shaking a procession of sweaty palms and celebrating your success.

I am very proud of the steps we have taken during my time here to strengthen the relationship between the University, its students and alumni.  The Open University Alumni Association does a tremendous job of representing you, and the Alumni Relations team are working tirelessly to identify and provide you with opportunities to stay in touch, continue your studies and share your inspiring stories.

The Open University transforms lives for the better – it has certainly transformed mine.  As students and alumni you are what makes the OU truly remarkable and I wish you all every success for the future.

Best wishes,


Martin G. Bean

I don’t remember my palms being all that sweaty on graduation day, but I bow to his undoubted expertise in such matters!

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