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At its foundation the Open Universiteit has been given the task to contribute to the innovation of higher education in the Netherlands. In the 35 years of its existence the OU has become as the acknowledged expert in this field.

Innovative education demands professional expertise and knowledge of educational technology, information technology and communication technology. The research into education and educational technology mainly takes place within the Faculty Educational Sciences. The Open Universiteit Graduate School (OUGS) aims to facilitate PhD research by supporting PhDs, their supervisors and their promotores.

All the research that takes place at the Open Universiteit is subject to the Dutch regulations and behavioral codes as to ethics and scientific integrity. Internal commissions supervises the adherence to these codes.