We are celebrating our 15th anniversary following a rewarding year which has seen us reach our 110,000 student milestone, turnover increase from £5m to nearly £6.5m, and operating profits that have increased from £200,000 to more than ten times that in the last decade.
Led by Samantha Rutter who founded Open Study College with her father Mark Rutter, our family-owned and run business has gone from strength to strength. Today we offer the largest selection of distance learning courses in the market.
Celebrating at a special anniversary event that took place at our headquarters, we marked the occasion by presenting Georgie Moseley, the founder of local Birmingham cancer charity and a cause close to our hearts, Help Harry Help Others (HHHO), with a £5,000 cheque, bringing our total donations to a staggering £16,000 to date.
Putting purpose ahead of profit, we have supported the Birmingham charity for a number of years. As part of its anniversary celebrations, our team has also pledged to offer 150 voluntary hours to great local causes handpicked by our team, including HHHO.
Since 2007, when the Rutter family identified a gap in the market for fully supported distance learning, over 110,000 students have enrolled with us and improved their lives. Fifteen years on, we now employ over 50 people and work with over 70 tutors globally.
Specialising in high-quality distance learning, in the last two years alone we have partnered with Birmingham City Council on its £12m Supplier Skills Programme to help SMEs upskill their workforces; launched a recruitment arm of the business; and announced our new B2B offering to encourage learning and development in the workplace. We have also heavily invested in our technology and people through our substantial commitment to improving systems, enabling us to welcome even more learners and offer them a fully integrated journey.
In recent months, we have launched a new Access to HE Diploma in Public Services following the success of our first Access to HE Diploma in Health. This launch provides our learners with the skills and knowledge to pursue careers in the police force, legal, and criminology sectors.
With family at the heart, an ethos set from the get-go, we are firmly focussed on inclusivity, believing that everyone should have access to an education.
Samantha Rutter, CEO at Open Study College, commented: “I still remember some of our early successes like it was yesterday. Our first student case studies, when we developed and added qualifications to our own courses, won our first award for Small Provider of the Year in 2014, being named one of the UK’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders by LDC and The Daily Telegraph, and our big move into our new HQ in 2019 followed by opening our second office in Coleshill last year.
“Our secret is chasing quality rather than quantity. Success for Open Study College has and always will be synonymous with the success and achievements of our learners. Consistently improving and evolving to meet the needs of our learners is our top priority and one we’ll never lose sight of. It is our dedication and commitment to our people, both our learners and our employees, that drives retention and growth, and this has been our approach for the last 15 years.”