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OU appoints BBC chief as its next VC

The Open University (OU) has appointed Peter Horrocks, Director of the BBC’s World Service, as its new Vice-Chancellor.

Peter Horrocks has been responsible for leading the BBC’s international news services across radio, television and online after a career with the corporation spanning more than three decades. He replaces Martin Bean, who announced in July he would be returning to his native Australia for a role with RMIT University.

Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, said: “The OU is an institution of which the UK should feel rightly proud. It has been transforming lives for decades and, like the BBC, holds a special place in our national heritage. While I will miss the university a great deal, I am delighted that it will be in such capable hands, and I wish Peter well as he takes up one of the best jobs in the world.”

Peter Horrocks said: “I have seen first-hand the transformative power of learning around the world, especially when coupled with technology. The Open University has been making a life-changing difference to hundreds of thousands of people by providing them, through distance learning, with an education that may otherwise have been unattainable. It is a profound honour to be joining an organisation with such an inspiring mission and at such an interesting time for the sector. I can’t wait to get started and to meet the staff and students who make the OU so special.”

Mr Horrocks is due to take up his new post in May next year. In the interim, Pro Vice Chancellor for research, scholarship and quality Tim Blackman will be Acting Vice-Chancellor.

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