Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Impact
  3. Tackling Inequalities

Tackling Inequalities

Our passions drive our research, from tackling religious intolerance and online violence against women and girls to the inequalities LGBTQ+ people face, racial and ethnic educational disadvantages and unequal access and opportunities for disabled people.

What does it mean to be Welsh?

Is Welshness about speaking the language, enjoying the picturesque peaks and valleys, the country's rich industrial heritage or celebrating St David's Day?

Empowering teachers to help children read for pleasure

Professor Teresa Cremin and her colleagues from the Reading for Pleasure project are using their research to develop teachers and inspire children across England and further afield to discover the joy of reading.

From the Pandemic to Putin's War: OU research sheds light on refugees' lives

Professor Marie Gillespie has dedicated her research career to understanding and challenging inequalities migrants experience. Now, she is drawing on the international network of academics, activists and artists she and her colleagues built during the coronavirus pandemic to raise awareness and support families displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Art history is for everyone, not just the elite

Dr Leah R. Clark explains how The Open University’s Art History researchers have pioneered a new expanded inclusive approach to art history to challenge the discipline’s traditional elitist and Eurocentric perception and introduced it to more diverse audiences.

Co-designing better communities

How would our towns and cities, neighbourhoods and public spaces look and function if the people who live and work within them designed them? Theodore Zamenopoulos and Katerina Alexiou’s work is helping groups across the UK to find out and empowering them to become creative citizens capable of positively changing their communities.

It’s time to talk about menopause in the workplace

Professor Jo Brewis discusses her work to remove workplace taboos around menopause and encourage employers to recognise and support people experiencing this normal but sometimes challenging transition.

It takes a village to raise a teacher

Professor Freda Wolfenden, Kimberley Safford and Dr Deborah Cooper have spent a decade empowering women and children in rural and under-resourced communities in sub-Saharan Africa through education. Their work has helped more than 3,000 women gain confidence and embark on a pathway to financial independence.

Transforming English language teaching in Bangladesh

OU researchers have harnessed the power of innovative technology-enabled teaching methods to transform English language education in Bangladesh, improve children’s life prospects and support the country’s economic development and sustainable growth.

Using keyword signing for more inclusive teaching in Indonesian classrooms

We have introduced keyword signing into classrooms in Indonesia, enabling children with special educational needs to participate.

Consigning the mathematics gender gap to history

During the past twenty years, Professor of History of Mathematics June Barrow-Green has used her research to challenge cultural and historical stereotypes about mathematics and inspire the next generation of women to get into the subject.

Using technology to unite us, not divide us

Technology has brought the world closer together than ever before. However, today it is often blamed for sewing social division. Professor Anna De Liddo believes it doesn't have to be this way and is creating intuitive online tools to help us build consensus, even when we disagree.

Autism: promoting understanding and action

Our research has helped to challenge common stereotypes of autism and promote action for autistic people worldwide.

Using religious history to promote social cohesion

Our research has alerted key decision makers to the importance of historically informed religious literacy as a means of avoiding potential conflict.

Improving student retention

Our research has produced software which can reduce student drop-out rates.

What 19th-century prison education can teach us today

Education has a transformational impact on people in prison and other secure environments and is crucial to rehabilitation. It builds prisoners’ self-respect and self-worth and broadens their horizons. However, Dr Rosalind Crone argues its vital role in English history is often overlooked.

Solving global challenges through open access

We host the world’s largest collection of open access full texts which facilitates free and easy access to research knowledge.

Who started the First World War: a century of controversy

More than a century after it ended, the First World War continues to be the subject of intense debate. Professor Annika Mombauer’s extensive research addresses the question ‘Why did the war start?’ Her print and online publications and teaching materials allow global audiences to learn from the First World War’s brutality and contested legacy.

Continual Professional Development for social workers

The project, led by Joe Hanely, Lecturer in Social Work at the OU’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies, had been funded to produce a collection of free resources to enable keyworkers to upskill in disaster social work response. The resources are designed to be accessible to people of any level of social work, from experienced workers to students.

Teachers’ professional learning during and after COVID: A role for open digital badges

Led by Dr Simon Cross, Senior Lecturer at the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology, the project seeks to build on previous knowledge exchange programmes in addressing the need for teacher professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open Centre for Languages and Culture

Dr Mirjam Hauck and Dr Sylvia Warnecke launched the Open Centre in October 2020 to support the learning of languages and cultures in a professional, academic and leisure capacity. The centre provides short courses which cover general linguistic, intercultural communication and particular skills for work.

Co-evaluating e-assessment resources for HE in Africa

Educational experts at the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology and Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies have been working with partners in the African Council for Distance Education to promote professional development programmes for educators, professional staff and heads of department who share responsibility for providing quality distance and online learning across Africa. The project has involved a participatory survey to identify specific regional challenges, raised by local educators across Africa, and address their needs.

Race and Ethnicity Hub

This project is being led by Sas Amoah, Digital Media Producer at the OU, who is producing a short film to be published on the OpenLearn Race and Ethnicity hub. The film will investigate race-related health issues, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the disproportionate negative impact on people of colour. The film will also dispel some of the problematic myths that have arisen in relation to biology.

Funding to explore the development needs of BAME leaders

Funding from the OU's Rapid Response to COVID-19 is making it possible to explore the development needs of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders

Reports call for more support for people with learning disabilities

Two reports on the effect of COVID-19 on people with learning disabilities launched on 10 December at an event: Filling the Gaps, aimed at funders and policy makers

Innovation adopted during COVID-19 is now “business as usual” according to OU research

Research conducted by the OU’s Faculty of Business & Law into online learning in English schools during COVID-19 has found that some innovations adopted have now become “business as usual”.