The OU’s mission ‘to be open to people, places, methods and ideas’ continues to be important as we support society during the pandemic. We are using our unique position and reach as a Four Nations University and mobilising and deploying our world class research and expertise to continue to support the coronavirus response effort. ...
Our academics are tracking the extent of false information about the virus so that it can be brought to the attention of policymakers and continuing to work on the world’s first COVID-19 digital immunity passport. We are also turning our attention to researching the effects of the pandemic on the economy and individuals, such as providing learning materials for those affected by domestic abuse, work which has been raised in the House of Commons. More recently, we used our annual Business Barometer 2020 to provide insights into the UK skills landscape, looking at the impacts across regions, nations and sectors.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make its impact felt across the world, researchers and professional services staff across the OU are collaborating on ways to support society.
The Coronavirus Research Fund was set up by in September by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Enterprise and Scholarship, providing a rapid-response stream for projects with short turn-around and a longer-term stream for large projects. Alongside this, our academics and experts continue to help other organisations and institutions with our world-leading expertise and capability in the delivery of online teaching and our experiences with remote working, which is also benefiting new sectors such as the legal profession and counsellors, who have moved their services online. In autumn, we launched the latest in a suite of short online courses to help get learning and teaching online with mental health as its thrust. We are also providing free courses to boost the Government’s Skills Toolkit initiative.
Our amazing students are also playing their part in their communities by sharing their top tips with others now studying online on how they can maximise their capacity to study by planning and operating with distractions.
For over fifty years, we have been committed to making learning possible, for anyone with a desire to learn. We will continue to do that and more to help in the national response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Tim Blackman