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OpenLearn – The home of free learning from the OU

OpenLearn and its associated products attract around 13 million visitors each year from around the world. Whether it’s a two-minute exploration or a 24-hour expedition into learning that you’re after, you’ll find it on OpenLearn for free.

OpenLearn allows you to learn for free, at any time.

OpenLearn allows you to learn for free, at any time.

OpenLearn is a trailblazer for the provision of high quality open educational resources at scale and breadth, for free without barriers. It is designed to be accessible by all, and to date over 110 million ​visitors from around the world have discovered this treasure trove of learning materials.

Established in 2006 OpenLearn started as a two-year experiment to understand how The Open University can operate in a more open manner and what benefits it brings for learners, educators and the OU itself. It is now a business-as-usual activity that supports informal learners and OU students alike. Millions who have taken the free courses report that they now have the confidence to start formal study.

OpenLearn continuously responds to the world's need for free and relevant higher education and gives people opportunities to study that they would not otherwise have had. It currently hosts around 35,000 pages of high-quality resources, including more than 900 courses totalling 10,000 study hours. It's mission is simple: reach everyone that needs free access to higher education.

A wide range of topics from across the OU curriculum are covered, including popular factual content related to current affairs. For example:

Content can be filtered by format (course, interactive activity, article, video, collection), subject, skills for study, and skills for work, or browse our most popular content, including the Being an OU Student course, designed for students about to start their first OU undergraduate module.

OpenLearn Data Highlights

OpenLearn data highlights 2022-23

In the academic year 2022-23 (01.08.22-31.07.23) there were 9 million visits to OpenLearn, and 13 million across all OpenLearn products. The all-time visitor total has now exceeded 110 million, 2022-23 saw an increase in course enrolments, to 890,000 across the range of c.900 courses (now including more than 80 badged courses), with 44,000 digital badges being awarded. It also surpassed the 250,000 digital badge landmark in May 2023. Visitors represented 120 countries worldwide, with 51% from the UK, with the US and India making the top three.

The OpenLearn 2023 review is now also available for download.


Find out more about who we are and what we do in these videos about OpenLearn.

Read about what we got up to last year: OpenLearn: 2022 in review.

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