Open Eye: Mailbag

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The Independent Online
I - and I suspect many other OU graduates - took a degree through the Open University, not because it was a "second chance" (a condescending turn of phrase which annoys me intensely) but rather because it was the only medium of higher education which was even remotely attractive to me. Part of the attraction was not having to join student sporting clubs, debating societies and such-like jolly hockey sticks activities with which (probably wrongly) I associated life at a traditional university.

Consequently I had never bothered to keep the OU informed of my address after graduating and, if asked, would have rejected the possibility of joining an alumni association. (I only recently found out what the word alumni meant, to be honest, despite four years tedious study of Latin at school.)

Despite all that, I have to admit that I was thrilled to bits to find "Open Eye" in my Independent today. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and - much to my surprise - I also enjoyed feeling a part of the alumni association of the Open University.

Mary Anderson

High Wycombe, Bucks

Congratulations on the first issue of "Open Eye". To testify in the same vein as the Indy, we are, as John Daniel suggests, "free spirited, liberal, informed, intelligent and educated". A perfect match.

I have been able to use my OU (Hons) degree (at the age of 55, and after taking early retirement) to take a TESOL teacher training course (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages). My wife has gained immeasurably in terms of self-development, though not necessarily in job terms. (We met through the OU!)

Once again, congrats. We look forward to accessing The "virtual campus" and going to Open Day on 27 June.

Robert and Diane Stubbs, M2030811 & E0207371 1986 to 1994

Many congratulations on your website and on Open Eye. Both are a wonderful aid to keeping in touch!

I have registered with you today. I am reading mathematics.

Keep up the good work.

Trevor C Plowman


I bought The Independent for other reasons last Thursday so Open Eye was a nice surprise. I have noted the next issue in my diary!!!

Pat Barber (

Since I graduated in 1996, I've really missed my contact with the OU. It was getting together with people for study and discussion that I used to enjoy.

The first Open Eye looked good - and it will make me buy The Independent next month too!

Perhaps alongside the 'success' stories of people whose careers have been changed dramatically, we could also have some input which reflects the way your world view and love of life is enhanced by study - especially in the OU context.

Kevin Scott (

I don't know what the reaction to "Open Eye" was like from universities in the UK, but down here we are all green with envy. It is a very creative solution to a very real communications and budget problem.

Well done!

Jim Mahoney

Head, Public Affairs Division The Australian National University

Open Eye welcomes your letters. Please Email to or write to Open Eye, The Open University, PO Box 625, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.