Open University

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The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the United Kingdom, with over 250,000 students, most of whom study off-site via distance learning. It was founded in 1969. Its main headquarters is in Milton Keynes.

LGBT history

The London Gay Reading Group has co-operated with the OU on a research project.[1] In 2024 the Open University were found to have discriminated against a criminologist at the University, Professor Jo Phoenix, who had expressed what are commonly called gender critical views. An employment tribunal found that Prof Louise Westmarland, head of discipline in social policy and criminology at the OU, made a “racist uncle” comment, which amounted to harassment, because she was unhappy about Phoenix signing a letter in the Sunday Times registering disquiet over a perceived inappropriately close relationship between the LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall and UK universities, and about her expressing her gender critical beliefs at a Woman’s Place UK talk [2].

LGBT societies

PLEXUS (standing for "Pride, Learning, Equality, No eXcuses, Unity, Safety) is a Group for self-defining LGBT+ students, alumni and staff of the Open University.

Notable alumni

External links


  1. Preliminary report (Word file)
  2. Open University academic wins tribunal case over gender-critical views. The Guardian 22 January 2024. (accessed 23 January 2024)