Shell and The Open University Announce Learning Partnership

March 23, 2004

Those programmes include courses from the Open University Business School, which offer the opportunity for continuing professional development and for gaining professional management qualifications. Courses in improving computing skills, learning German and Spanish, and in learning about the environment are also being offered.

The announcement of the partnership comes after a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Open University and Shell on Friday, March 19. OU Vice-Chancellor Prof Brenda Gourley and Adam Lomas, Director of Learning and Development for SIEP, were the signatories for the ceremony at the university’s headquarters at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes.

Prof Gourley said: “The Open University’s position at the forefront of lifelong learning makes it an ideal partner for organisations that are looking to offer the best learning opportunities to their staff.

“I have no doubt that this partnership will bring a range of benefits to Shell staff and their partners and will encourage them to develop their professional and managerial skills and their interests and knowledge in a range of subject areas.”

Peter Bentley, of Shell Open University, said: “We are committed to moving the Shell Group of Companies towards becoming a true learning organisation and the newly-created study opportunities are a step on the road towards creating the environment for our people where learning becomes a habit.”

Shell staff can access more information about the partnership through the company’s Shell Open University intranet site.

The project builds on the work of COROUS (Corporate Open University Services), which has developed a series of re-usable digital learning “nuggets” for the Shell Open University. Featured topics range from leadership and management development to finance, accounting and diversity issues.

The Open University is the UK’s largest university. More than 200,000 people worldwide are currently studying with the OU. One in five of all part-time higher education students in the UK is studying with the Open University.
Created in 2000, the Shell Open University is a virtual global corporate university for use by Shell employees worldwide. It delivers many types of technical, business and leadership learning and development opportunities, and currently has more than 23,000 employees enrolled.


Neil Coaten
Open University Media Relations
01908 652580
07901 515891

Matt Samuel
Shell Group Media Co-ordinator
020 7934 3505
07659 129454