Open University success on iTunes U

Open University free courses have proven popular internationally after its launch this year.

The Open University, a global course and learning material provider, has reached over one million active subscribers after its launch earlier this year.

The OU's 52 free course offering, since its addition to the iTunes U app, has enjoyed over 50 million international downloads,

with approximately a further 40,000 downloads each day.

The courses are delivered in Apple's iBook format to the mobile app, and include images, videos, panoramas and interactive diagrams alongside core course texts -- promoting a more interactive method of learning.

The most popular free course currently offered on the iPad app is 'The New Entrepreneurs'; with over 100,000 active subscribers.

Six other courses have amassed over 50,000 subscribers each.

The Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, said:

"With more than 50 million downloads to date, we know that students value our high-quality learning materials, and that is really underlined by the speed with which we have reached one million iTunes U app course subscribers.

The sheer versatility of our new iBook thinking presents a really exciting development for students, letting them jump though the page and into the rocks, to explore extra- terrestrial mineral structure. We plan to expand our brand new format library with highly interactive iBooks very soon."

The Open University offers both paid-for qualifications up to post-degree level and a variety of free content available for anyone to access globally. The free content it offers is available in multiple formats, and its inclusion within iTunes U will only serve to expand its global influence -- and potentially entice more individuals to enroll on their chargeable qualifications.

The Open University's iTunes U launch took place on the 19 January this year, after Apple's announcement in New York concerning the app's upgrade and release of iBooks 2. OU was the only UK-based university invited to participate in the product planning and launch of the original app.

Other publishers currently using the platform include Harvard University and MIT.