Lucky call

Since it opened the OU has supported female learners. Many critics were the dismissive accusations about it being the university for bored housewives as if it was a self-evidently bad idea that women should have the opportunity to learn at home.
Now the OU is working to further support women. Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (who works in IET) is working on a social inclusion project across Europe. The aim is to produce an app for new immigrants with access to a smartphone to enable them to access informaiton about healthcare or transport in the country in which they live. In this way the OU is contributing to services that will support migrants as they develop their knowledge and skills through everyday living and use of the mobile app.
Agnes Kukulska-Hulme explained that there is both a technical and a social dimension to the project. 

The idea is to facilitate and foster local community building, raising consciousness and knowledge to help bridge cultural differences. We want to promote social inclusion and help people to integrate better in the community in which they are living. Through technology-mediated persuasion and social networking, we will offer support and help change attitudes and behaviours of migrant people living in Europe. The project will facilitate a massive social impact by increasing the cooperation and successful integration of millions of migrants living together with hundreds of millions of European citizens in the future.

This is part of the Mobile Assistance for Social Inclusion and Empowerment of Immigrants with Persuasive Technologies and Social Network Services project. The acronym is of course MASELTOV. Good luck to them all.

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