New era for distance learning provider

Open Study College (OSC) has announced that the next generation of the family-owned and run business will now take the group forward into its 16th year.

Open Study College co-founder and former chairman Mark Rutter, who this year celebrates 30 years in the distance learning sector, will be assuming a new role as non-executive director.

His wife, Lisa, will be stepping back from her role as director, allowing their daughters and the next generation of the Rutter family, Samantha and Shawna, to lead the business forward, continuing as CEO and director respectively.

These organisational changes coincide with OSC’s 15th anniversary, which has seen them reach their 110,000th student milestone, increase turnover from £5m to nearly £6.5m, and increase operating profits tenfold over the last decade from £200,000.

Mark Rutter said: “It’s been an incredible period of celebrations both for us as a business honouring our 15th anniversary, but for me personally too as I celebrate 30 years in the distance learning sector. Back in 2007, we had an idea to provide high-quality and affordable distance learning courses and believing in this dream, we made the tough decision to sell our family home to fund our start-up. It all began from our garage, printing and despatching just a few courses a week.

“Fast forward to today, we now have over 750 courses, two offices, 55 employees, and more than 100 tutors. But most importantly, we have helped over 110,000 students to achieve their goals and improve their lives. As a family-founded business, I’m proud to have worked alongside my wife, daughters, and other family members. Together, we have in excess of 80 years of experience in the industry and I have every confidence in the next generation of my family seeing us through another magnificent 15 years and beyond.”

Samantha Rutter said: “This year has been an instrumental one for the business. We’ve heavily invested in our technology, systems and people – making sure we’re set up for the future and have the best, seamless learning experience for our students as we enter the next stage. As a leader in this market, Mark has solidified our status in the education sector. We’ve learned so much from our father and will continue to lean on his expertise, guidance and advice.”

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