AbstractState University of New York, Empire State College, Commencement 11 June 2011, Well Equipped for the Future, Remarks by Sir John Daniel, on the conferment of the degree, Doctor of Letters honoris causa // In 1971, the year that ESC was founded, I began part-time study for a Master’s in Educational Technology. I had begun my first academic appointment, at the University of Montreal, and thought that since my degrees were in science and engineering I ought now to learn something about education. A year later I spent three months at the UK Open University doing the internship required by the Master’s programme. The Open University had admitted its first cohort of 25,000 students a year earlier and my internship was a revelation of the revolution of openness in higher education that was just beginning. // Thanks to web technologies the dimensions of openness in higher education are now expanding rapidly, but forty years ago just two institutions, the UK Open University and Empire State College, were the prime expressions of openness. The Open University had abolished all academic prerequisites for admission and offered distance learning at scale. Empire State College opened up the curriculum by letting students design their own programmes with mentors to help them achieve rigour and balance. I find it both remarkable and inspiring that, forty years on, each of these two radically innovative institutions tops student satisfaction surveys in its own jurisdiction.