Tamil Nadu Open University(TNOU) is the 1st State Open University and the 10th Open University in the country, was established in 2002 by the government of Tamil Nadu, India. This university aims at benefitting the sections of people who have been deprived of and/or denied access to higher education. The community of the deprived includes the destitute, the physically challenged, the working men and women, the economically weaker and marginalised people, and the drop-outs owing to various reasons. In nutshell, it aims at reaching the hitherto unreached. Within a decade, since its existence, the TNOU has remarkably catered to the learning needs of more than 5 lakh students with over 100 programmes, through 13 schools and 7 divisions. It has a well-knitted network of student support services with 4 University Co-ordinating Centres (UCC), 152 Learning Resource Centres (LRC), 165 Computer Programme Centres, 195 Community Colleges, 10 General B.Ed. Programme Study Centres (PSC), 13 Special B.Ed. Programme Study Centres, 9 Special Centres in Prisons, 33 Off-campus Centres, 3 Counselling and Psychotherapy Centres. In addition, the University has entered into a MoU with EduKart for a Virtual Study Centre (VSC) facility. It offers subjects in the Open pattern. There is a minimum set of qualifications for entry. Diplomas, certificates, undergraduate and postgraduate courses are offered. It is modelled on the lines of the Indira Gandhi National Open University. It has ease of entry and a flexible examination system as the main advantages. Its vocational courses are useful for knowledge as well as job opportunities. It is situated at Anna Salai, Saidapet, Chennai.
The Tamil Nadu Open University was established by an Act (No.27 of 2002) of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of Tamil Nadu to benefit those who have been deprived of and/or denied the access to higher education especially destitute, physically challenged, working men and women, economically weaker sections of the society, and those who discontinued education for various reasons, etc. In the main, it aims to reach the hitherto unreached. The University offers many Programmes in various disciplines.
Towards becoming a Centre of Excellence in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) by offering quality programs to meet the current and emerging needs of the adult population, by widening the access to higher education and by functioning as a catalyst to bridge social, including digital divides and to build a developed India, Tamil Nadu Open University shall:
Evolve flexible and robust curricula to widen educational access, deepen knowledge frontiers and create entrepreneurial skill sets.
Reach the rural communities through lifelong learning programmes for livelihood improvement.
Establish networked environments for quality assurance.
Foster private-public partnerships.
Bridge the digital divide and implement 'anywhere, anytime' learning environments.
Become a digital repository for ODL in the State facilitating Research and Development for new knowledge creation.