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We work collaboratively with other universities on a broad range of learning, teaching and research activities that enrich our students' experience of study and enhance our contribution to Scottish society.

Enhancement Themes logo

Enhancement Themes

The Open University in Scotland undertakes a wide range of activity as part of the Scottish Higher Education Quality Enhancement Framework. Like every Scottish higher education institution, we engage in Enhancement Themes work overseen by QAA Scotland (the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education): three-year national programmes of work covering an aspect of teaching and learning.
The current Theme, ‘Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience’ focusses on the use of data and evidence to enhance the student experience, and covers topics that range from learning analytics to what kinds of evidence can be used or collected to inform assessment.
The Theme is currently in Year Two of its three-year cycle. Our plan for Year Two can be found here.

Institutions are encouraged to work together to share best practice and develop collaborative projects for the whole sector. The OU in Scotland is involved in two collaborative clusters; for Learning Analytics and Sense of Belonging for online, distance learners.
The Learning Analytics cluster is being led by the University of Strathclyde and engages with 12 Scottish institutions. Queen Margaret University leads the Sense of Belonging cluster, in collaboration with the OU in Scotland, University of Dundee and University of the Highlands and Islands.

Carer Aware at University

The Open University in Scotland and Carers Trust Scotland developed the Carer Aware at University module with partners from the University of Stirling, Heriot-Watt University, Glasgow Caledonian University and the College Development Network. 

The free online module is for all staff working in Scotland’s universities, to help improve identification and support for students who are also carers. 

Roger Davis HSC Seminar

Crichton Campus, Dumfries and Galloway

The OU in Scotland has actively engaged with the Crichton Campus in Dumfries for many years working with community organisations, schools, Dumfries and Galloway College and other Higher Education Institution partners to provide opportunities for accessing HE study in the region.

We became a Crichton Institute partner in March 2013. A major new collaborative venture for the south-west of Scotland, it brings together the Crichton Campus academic institutions and wider partners in the business, local government, health and voluntary sectors.

Roger Davis, Head of Social Work Scotland at The OU, is pictured, speaking at a Mental Health and Social Support Seminar which he chaired on campus in April 2016.

Scottish history with University of Dundee

The Open University runs a collaborative scheme with the University of Dundee where OU students can study a history course with Dundee via distance learning, Medieval and Early Modern Scotland: 1100-1707, and count the credit they gain towards their OU qualification. From October 2019 we will additionally be offering Modern Scottish History 1707-1997 via this study path.

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council for three years (2014-2017) and led by The OU in Scotland, this project provided an opportunity for Scotland's tertiary education sector to build on its collaborative ethos and establish a support network for best practice and innovation in developing open educational resources (OERs).

The Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project aims were to

  • facilitate best practice in open education in Scotland by developing a peer support network, an online hub and awareness raising activities ​
  • enhance the Scottish tertiary education sector’s capacity and reputation in developing publicly available online materials supported by high quality pedagogy and learning technology

OEPS aimed to engage with the whole sector and encourage partnership working with other organisations involved in formal education provision (such as colleges and schools), informal education and with other sectors within Scotland and beyond.

Read the OEPS Final Report

We are involved in:

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

The OU has expertise in psychology and criminology. We are part of SIPR, a strategic collaboration between 13 of Scotland's universities, Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. This provides opportunities to do innovative, cutting-edge research focused on developing evidence-based policy and practice which is relevant and applicable in helping the police meet current challenges, and to achieve international excellence for policing research in Scotland.

​Institute for Social Marketing

The Institute for Social Marketing is a world renowned collaborative academic research centre with the University of Stirling, which brings over 30 years’ experience to the study and dissemination of social marketing theory and practice. Current and recent projects areas include alcohol, sustainable transport and low carbon vehicles, sustainable clothing, Smart Grids and community energy projects.

Innogen logo

The Innogen Institute

Launched in 2013, the Innogen Institute is a dynamic collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and The Open University that explores the social and economic impact of innovation in the life sciences.

Contact us

Enhancement Themes activity:

Gill Ryan
Widening Access and Student Success Team

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