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Open University

Volume 928: debated on Thursday 17 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement about the marketing operations of the Open University.

The university considers that its marketing operations have a potential, particularly overseas, which has not to date been fully realised. It, therefore, transferred responsibility for them on 1st January 1977 to the Open University Educational Enterprises Ltd., a limited liability company. The shares of the company are wholly held by the university which is also responsible for the appointment of directors. Provision has been made for all profits for tax purposes to revert to the university by deed of convenant. The university considers that the new arrangements will lead to a more efficient marketing operation. I have, therefore, agreed subject to certain safeguards, that the university may make a loan to the company of a specified sum for use as working capital.