Association of Open University Graduates
John Daniel

AOUG Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel Award for Education and Language Studies

John Daniel served as The Open University's Vice-Chancellor from 1990 to 2001. He was born in Surrey in 1942. After stints in Lancashire and Oxfordshire, he read Metallurgy at Oxford University and went on to study for a PhD in Paris. After witnessing the upheavals of 1968, Daniel became Assistant Professor at the University of Montreal, at the same time beginning to study for a Masters Degree in educational technology. The course involved a three month internship and Daniel managed to get a placement at The Open University in 1972. He recalled: ‘I think it’s not being grandiloquent to say I had a conversion on the road to Damascus. I was just absolutely overwhelmed by what was happening...I felt I’d seen the next generation of university.’

In 1990 Daniel was appointed as The Open University’s third Vice-Chancellor. He was knighted by The Queen for services to higher education in 1994 and holds thirty honorary doctorates from universities in seventeen countries. As well as overseeing the change in funding system, some of the issues Sir John remembers from his time at the OU were the changing relationship with the BBC, the move to course-based student registration and its decentralisation, the absorption of the Council for National Academic Awards into the OU as OU Validation Services and its Quality Support Centre which became the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information and the introduction of new technologies, including the creation of the Knowledge Media Institute and the integrating new systems and technologies into lifelong learning (INSTILL) project.

Sir John Daniel left the OU in 2001 to become UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education and went on to become President of the Commonwealth of Learning sin 2004 and he became a Fellow of The Open University in 2002. Throughout his time at the OU and since, he has remained a strong supporter of AOUG. He understood our passion for our university and referred to AOUG in his Degree Ceremony addresses, encouraging new graduates to join the Association. He has given two of AOUG’s Foundation Lectures and been extremely well received on both occasions and so he was an obvious choice to give his name to our Award for Education and Language Studies which was first introduced in 2003.

Previous Winners
2015 Alison Gallagher
2014 Mark Mukorera
2013 Anne Pike
2012 George Damaskinidis
2011 Susan Bowers
2010 Esther Warnett
2009 Annelies Taylor
2008 Tatjana Dragivic
2007 Dr Janet Davies
2006 Jane Donati
2005 Colin Diggory
2004 Sophina  Besong Asong
2003 Jean Barnett