The Guardian University Awards 2017 logo

Double celebration at Guardian University Awards

Photograph of Faculty of Business and Law collecting award

Jacqui Thomasen, Head of External Engagement; Martin Upton, Director of PUFin; BBC's Lauren Laverne; Lucian Hudson, Director of Communications, and Lotfi Boulkeroua, Head of Department - Accounting and Finance

Teams from The Open University picked up two wins in a glittering night at the Guardian University Awards.

The Open University Business School won the Business Partnership category for its collaboration with financial services company True Potential LLP and the TESS India team, who run a large scale educational initiative, swept the board in the International Projects category.

Judges praised the OUBS team for its innovative approach and inspiring use of partnerships to deliver social impact. The partnership has created a centre of excellence undertaking rigorous research to inform practice and policy, and delivers free online courses to teach people everything from the basics of finance to the way the financial industry operates.

Courses are freely accessible on the OpenLearn and FutureLearn sites. Research shows they are making a real difference to the financial understanding of families around the country.

Martin Upton, Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance, said:

"We are really delighted. We have to acknowledge this success would not have been possible without the support of True Potential LLP. Their support has meant we can bring financial education to the UK and beyond, to the benefit of huge numbers of people."

Martin picked up the award from BBC radio presenter Lauren Laverne along with colleagues Jacqui Thomasen and Lotfi Boulkeroua.

The judges said TESS India was an exceptional project with unparalleled reach, delivered at scale.

The project, which began in 2012 with DFID funding aims to generate a paradigm shift in Indian schools. It is a response to the need to improve the quality of teaching in elementary and secondary schools, supporting teachers to incorporate a more child-centred approach. The project has created a bank of freely available educational resources in seven languages, designed with and for teachers, available through different delivery mechanisms from mobile phones to printed material. Since November 2016, TESS-India is being delivered in partnership with Save the Children India, enabling the project to transition to a sustainable and independent model post DFID funding.

Matthew Foster, Director of International Development, said:

"We are thrilled with the recognition of our achievements. It was great to hear the judges thought TESS India was an outstanding project, making full use of the OU's capabilities where they are most needed - reaching rural teachers across seven Indian states."

Photo of International Development Team collecting award

Lauren Lavern; Matthew Foster, Director International Development Office; Freda Wolfenden, Senior Lecturer in Education and Development; Rebecca Barnett, Senior Project Manager, and Lucian Hudson, Director of Communications.

He collected the prize with colleagues Freda Wolfenden and Rebecca Barnett.

Peter Horrocks, Vice Chancellor of the OU, said: "It is fantastic that we have won two such prestigious awards for business partnerships and international projects against some really tough competition. Congratulations to both the winning teams, it's a great achievement."

The OU team behind the OpenStudio project, which allows students share images, information and other content, were finalists in the Digital Innovation category.