Learning is opening up like never before. Open learning was originally used to describe the opening up on education to previously disenfranchised individuals - those who had not followed the traditional pathways to education. In the 70s and 80s, many people suddenly had a chance to pursue a degree when the open universities were established. The British Open University for example, was nicknamed 'the university of the second chance'. As a concept, openness began to gain purchase. Soon there were open colleges, and open learning centres, and then open software appeared - software that could be shared and developed by anyone.