Martin G. Bean
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|Martin G. Bean|
|Vice-Chancellor of The Open University|
|Preceded by||Professor Brenda Gourley|
|Born||October 26, 1964 (age 49)|
|Alma mater||University of Technology, Sydney|
Martin Bean is Vice-Chancellor (Chief Executive) of The Open University, the largest university in the United Kingdom. He was appointed to the post in December 2008  and took up office on 1 October 2009.
Education and Early Career
Born in Melbourne, Australia on 26 October 1964, Bean has a Bachelor’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. As a student, he served as president of AIESEC, the largest student run organization in the world. Bean worked at companies including Novell, Sylvan Learning, Thomson Learning, and New Horizons Computer Learning Centres before joining Microsoft, where he became general manager responsible for product management, marketing and business development in the Worldwide Education Products Group.
Bean is married with three daughters. His eldest, Madison Bean, is attending Bedford Modern School with a concentration in Theatre, Religious Studies, and English.
Career with Open University
Bean's appointment as vice-chancellor of the Open University was the first time a non-academic had been chosen to head the university. His has stated his aim has been to use technology in order to provide an education to anyone at low or no cost. This includes the university's iTunes U downloads, which had received more than 64 million downloads by October 2013.
In December 2012, Bean launched FutureLearn, an online initiative supporting a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, led by The Open University in partnership with 11 other UK universities. Since its launch, FutureLearn has partnered with 15 other universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the British Library, British Council and British Museum. FutureLearn offers free virtual lectures that are supplemented by digital learning tools.
In 2013, Bean oversaw the release of OU Anywhere, an app which allows students to to access nearly all OU undergraduate course materials using smartphones and tablets. Bean also oversaw the launch of the Teacher Education through the school-based support in India project (TESS-India), a program in collaboration with the Indian government to bring distance learning teacher education resources to educators in India.
Under a program of reforms spearheaded by Bean, the Open University has dismantled its presence in mainland Europe, making over 100 tutors redundant. This drew criticism from University and College Union, who claimed this would have a negative effect on OU students based outside the UK. The University has maintained that the move will bring support for overseas students into line with that offered to their UK-based counterparts while also making financial savings made necessary by the UK government’s 2012 changes to higher education funding.
Bean is on the Board of Trustees of the British Council, the Board of the Commonwealth of Learning and the British Museum’s Digital Advisory Group. In addition, he has served as a member of the Work Force Training and Education Coordinating Board and the National Board of Directors of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as advising the US Senate on the importance of IT in the Workforce Investment Act. He was also part of U.S. Department of Labor delegations to the US/EU Seminar on Local Employment Development, and to the Economic and Employment Development Seminar in Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University (Official Open University biography)
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- Career – Open University