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11-year-old completes 11 Open University online courses during lockdown

11-year-old Tiernán Eviston from County Meath has been using his time in lockdown very wisely. Tiernán hasn’t stopped learning and has already completed 11 online courses from The Open University’s free learning site OpenLearn ranging from ‘An introduction to sustainable energy’ to ‘Square roots and powers’.

In times such as these, more people than ever are turning to online learning to brush up on their skills and take advantage of the time they have to learn new things. Increasingly more school children, missing out on opportunities at school, have been turning to the platform to supplement their learning.

Since the start of lockdown, visits to the site have more than trebled from the previous monthly numbers with over 2.5 million unique visits since April from people of all ages.

Tiernan’s mum told us, “To have a resource like the OU and have free access is amazing. There are parents all over the world struggling to pay for courses like these to keep their kids minds occupied and here is an untapped resource that I had never thought to use before. OpenLearn is user friendly and the introductory courses are suitable for all learners.”

Clocking in at over 40 hours of additional study, Tiernan shared his success with his teacher who told him how proud she was and that she was “glad to see he was keeping his lovely mind exercised during lockdown.”

Tiernán’s favourite course was ‘Ratio, proportions and percentages’ and he is now taking a well-earned summer break.

John D’Arcy, Director of The Open University in Ireland said, “OpenLearn has become an even more useful asset for many people across Ireland during lockdown by enabling them to gain new knowledge and learn new skills. The benefit of OpenLearn is that it does truly fit the needs of learners of any age. I would recommend OpenLearn to anyone interested in some short, free online learning at this time and particularly to parents who may want to support their children at home. The selection of courses is wide-ranging with everything from beginners Spanish to courses on cyber security and the value of coffee!”

OpenLearn has over 15,000 hours of free online courses and content for people to use. The platform is a key part of The Open University’s goal to open up access to education. Content ranges from articles and courses to videos and interactive elements that are accessible to all skill levels and ages.


Find out more about what you could learn with OpenLearn by taking a look at the hundreds of free courses available at:

For media enquiries:

Contact Christine Murphy

Communications Manager
Tel 028 9053 6219