The University, initially known as Andhra Pradesh Open University, came into being on 26th August 1982 through an Act of Andhra Pradesh State Legislature (APOU Act, 1982), Subsequently, the University was renamed as Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University on 7th December 1991 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh (APOU Act, 1992). The establishment of this University, the first of its kind in India, heralded an era of affirmative action on the part of the Government for providing opportunities of higher education to all sections of society and catering to the changing individual and social needs. Hence the motto of the University is Education for all.
In 1983, the University started functioning with a modest learner enrolment of 6,321 and 22 Study Centres. Since then there has been a steady growth in intake and an increase in the number of Study Centres. In 2001 the enrolment is about 1 lakh and the number of Study Centres have increased to 137. The total number of students on rolls in all the programs is about 4,50,000.
Lacking back at the achievements of the University during the last two decades, it has brought legitimacy to the Open Learning system by maintaining:
- Quality of the learning materials
- Wide network of delivery systems
- Validity of testing and evaluation processes and
- Equivalence of contest and form of its programs.
The University has carved a niche for itself in the field of open learning by
- Providing access to a large number of heterogeneous learners cutting across the differences in age, gender, location and choice of courses
- Innovatively designing the undergraduate curriculum as Foundation Courses, Core courses and Application-oriented courses
- Creating a wide network of learner support systems
- Reaching out to the unreached through multiple media including broadcast and telecast modes
- Enhancing the interactivity of instruction through live phone-in and teleconferencing
- Offering courses in three mediums of instruction - English, Telugu and Urdu
- Giving hands on training in laboratory practice for Science and Technology Courses
- Widening access to Research, Post-graduate, P.G. Diploma, Undergraduate, Certificate and professional programs through the distance mode.
Year of Rededication - 2001
Two decades ago when the first Open University was established in India, the concern of the pioneers of the open system of education were focused around the question 'Why Open Learning?' Their efforts were mainly centered on justifying the innovations in instructional methods, flexibility in entry requirement, needs of diverse client groups.
Today as we stand at the threshold of the twenty first year of the existence of this University, the question ' Why open learning' is neither necessary nor relevant. The focus has shifted from 'Why' to 'How' and 'What'. The University, through its own experiences and experimentation has innovated and standardized the teaching learning practices and provided quality education, which is accepted by peer academics and prospective employers. It is necessary now to further enhance the quality of the learning material and promote system-based research. The system administration too needs to be made more responsive and pro-active. It is also a time for sharing of experiences and academic debate on the paths to be taken in the future.
Now is the time for retrospection and rededication to the goals of the institution. The University has identified the year 2001 as the Year of Rededication of the course of Open Learning.
Located on a panoramic elevated site of 53.63 acres in Jubilee Hills, the University houses impressive buildings, green lawns and tree-lined roads. In addition to the Administrative, Student Support Services, Academic and AVPRC buildings, the campus has an extensive Plaza, a Conference Hall, an Auditorium and GRADE cum Guesthouse. The KU-Band earth station is also located in the University campus.
The present campus has scope for application of new technologies in distance education and for inter-linking of its local areas through Local Area Network (LAN) and Campus and Study Centres through Wide Area Network (WAN). The State Bank of Hyderabad has a branch of the campus.