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Cautious welcome for OU leadership change

Image: Hockeyshooter [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers at The Open University have expressed optimism that their new leadership might roll back controversial reforms, in the wake of the resignation of vice-chancellor Peter Horrocks.

Mary Kellett, an executive dean at the OU who founded the respected Children’s Research Centre there in 2004, was appointed acting vice-chancellor on 13 April after Horrocks stepped down earlier that day.

Horrocks led the university for three years. He announced his resignation after sustained pushback against his restructuring programme, which sought to cut £100 million from the university’s £420m annual budget through a shift from face-to-face to online teaching and a significant number of redundancies. The university said cuts were a necessary response to a decline in student numbers.

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