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Open University research is designed to be open and to influence policy and practice and change lives for the better.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) shows that research undertaken at The Open University is both world-leading and has an impact in the real world.
We maximise our impact through major collaborations with external organisations ranging from public bodies to third-sector to business, benefiting the economy, society and cultural life. Some examples of our impact, across a range of areas, are set out below:
Our research has developed canine-centred controls which have improved how dogs support people with disabilities.
Our research has provided guidelines which have improved the quality of life for those affected by prostate cancer.
Our research has helped to challenge common stereotypes of autism and promote action for autistic people worldwide.
Our research is challenging stigma surrounding abortion and improving related care.
Our research in design is facilitating social innovations to transform neglected buildings into community-focused assets.
Our research has alerted key decision makers to the importance of historically informed religious literacy as a means of avoiding potential conflict.
We have introduced keyword signing into classrooms in Indonesia, enabling children with special educational needs to participate.
Our research has produced software which can reduce student drop-out rates.
We host the world’s largest collection of open access full texts which facilitates free and easy access to research knowledge.
Our research is having a positive impact on children’s reading for pleasure and changing teachers’ professional practice
We have transformed the way English is taught in schools in Bangladesh, improving the lives of more than six million children.
Our research is informing policy on the need to reconsider current mobile phone legislation.