I’m the chair of the Open Programme at the OU – the multi-disciplinary degree where students can choose from over 250 modules to create their own degree (or PostGrad qualifications). As David Kernohan so handily illustrates in this WonkHe piece, we’re also the largest degree in the UK. You’re interested, right? You want to know more, don’t you? Well, we have you covered!
The open programme team, along with the lovely people at the OU archive team in the Library have created a digital exhibition, where you can explore various facts about the open programme and marvel at artefacts drawn from the archive detailing the history of multi and interdisciplinary teaching at the OU. My favourite is this 1975 article declaring the specialised degree to be a Brontosaurus. That may not have quite played out, but you could imagine a similar piece being written today about the London Interdisciplinary School. It seems that interdisciplinary degrees are always needed, always the new thing, and always just about to happen. The thing is, this is always true – they are needed to tackle the problems we face now more than ever.