The Open University Headline Sponsor

The Open University has once again sponsored the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards as the highest profile awards in the new city for celebrating local business and success. As one of three headline sponsors this year, we took the time to catch-up with Steve Hill, External Engagement Director at The Open University, to see what he will be looking for from this year’s awards. 


As the largest university in the UK and a world leader in flexible learning, with over 200,000 students worldwide, the OU is an important association for MKBAA, as the students and graduates are the Milton Keynes business leaders and achievers of the future. On top of that, the OU’s quality and flexibility allows over 70% of students to remain in employment while studying, meaning that many MKBAA entrants have employees studying at the OU. Over 30,000 employers, including Milton Keynes companies, have developed their workforce with the University, including 80% of the FTSE 100.

“As one of the largest employers in Milton Keynes, the OU is proud to be part of such a vibrant, successful and growing business community and is pleased to be sponsoring these awards in recognition of this”, commented Steve Hill.

The Open University works with many employers and organisations in Milton Keynes, both as an education provider and drawing on its vast research expertise and facilities. This is why Steve wants to see, “a business’ passion for excellent service and innovation shine through”. This is especially important when writing your entry as, “this should come naturally if it’s written with sincerity and genuineness”, said Steve. 

Steve also added some tips for entering the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards 2016, “For an entry to be noticed, we want to see impact. This could be an remarkable success which was bold, unique or went far beyond expectations. Make your entry clear and concise, they should also be human. We want to hear what you’ve learned and also what really drives you as a business."

Facts about The Open University

• 4 in 10 of all UK part-time undergraduate students are studying with the OU

• We believe that school grades aren’t the only thing that counts, which is why our undergraduate programme is open entry

• The OU has been in the top five universities for student satisfaction since the National Student Survey began in 2005

• OU qualifications are highly-rated by employers for their quality and the commitment it takes to get one - 80% of FTSE 100 companies have developed their workforce with the OU. 30,000 UK employers including NHS, John Lewis and O2 have used the OU to develop their staff.

• The OU understands how people learn; that’s why we’re the leading expert in flexible HE - 70 of the 100 biggest universities in the UK use OU learning materials

• OU study is flexible, so students don’t need to put life or work on hold to get a qualification

• With the UK’s largest student community, students are never on their own - With 350 study locations across the UK and around 800 local events each year, it’s easy to meet OU staff and students

• The OU offers flexible payment options and part-time students in England can now apply student loans which means no upfront payment for fees

• The OU helps all types of ordinary people achieve extraordinary things - over 650 samples of OU courses are publicly available online, enabling people to experience OU study for free.