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QAA and research ranking

The Open University is rated highly not only by students, but also official bodies.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

The Open University, along with all publicly funded higher-education institutions in the UK, is a member of the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

The agency is responsible for safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education. It regularly reviews The Open University’s academic provision.

Our most recent review resulted in judgments of confidence about how we manage our academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities:


Confidence can reasonably be placed in the soundness of the institution's present and likely future management of the academic standards that it offers.

Quality Assurance Agency

Learn more about The Open University and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education on the QAA website.


Open University is recognised and renowned throughout the world for the quality of its research. Our research engages with some of the major issues facing the world today, informs public opinion and policy, and promotes debate and engagement with questions of global importance.

The quality of our research and teaching is apparent: in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), over 60% of our research was rated as ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’, with noticeable strengths in Computing, Art History, Sociology, Literature, Art and Design, and Development Studies. This placed us in the top 50 universities for research in the UK.

In the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014, nearly three quarters (72%) of Open University research was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 shows that research undertaken at The Open University is world-leading, impactful and influential.

It's much, much tougher writing for your colleagues here at The Open University and certainly they come up with much more critical comments than any research paper I've ever written. So there's certainly a very rigorous quality control.

Professor Hazel Rymer, Earth & Environmental Sciences, The Open University

Our current priority research areas include education, citizenship and space.