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OU awarded funding to make education more inclusive

The OU has been awarded funding of £480,000 by the Higher Education Funding Council in England (HEFCE) to address barriers to student success.

Led by the OU in collaboration with the University of Leeds and Plymouth University, the two-year project, Embedding and sustaining inclusive STEM practices, aims to share and promote inclusive educational practices in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines across UK universities.

The project, which began on 1 March 2017 and will run to 28 February 2019, will focus on disability as a key factor affecting the outcomes of STEM students in Higher Education, particularly in relation to academic performance and professional employment.

Academic lead and Research Fellow in Technology Enhanced Learning at The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, Dr Trevor Collins, said:

This project unifies the institutional priorities of the partners to be inclusive and open, celebrating and encouraging diversity in education and research. It will enable us to compare effective practices and develop inclusive education that is suitable for everyone.

Using the successful developments in fieldwork, lab work and online learning that already exist at each institution, the project will work in partnership with staff and students to further embed the values and practices of inclusive education.

About Author

Christine is a manager in the Media Relations team within the Marcomms Unit at the OU. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She has a BSc in Social Sciences with Politics from The Open University; she focuses on STEM stories and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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