The Open University (OU) and Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities, have launched Jumpstart University, a hub of free resources to help students to prepare for and settle into their studies at their new university or college.
The hub provides a range of online materials from the OU’s free learning platform, OpenLearn, which are aimed at helping students prepare for university with confidence. It includes courses to help with study skills, wellbeing and mental health, and student life, as well as subject-specific courses. Users can search by topic or subject area to get access to the resources they need.
Jumpstart University is open to all students – whichever university or college they’re enrolling at – as well as those supporting them such as parents, teachers, carers, or advisers.
The OU and Russell Group were conscious that COVID-19 had disrupted the studies of many students starting university in September and so wanted to ensure these students had all the support they needed to make the transition as smooth as possible. This new hub will be used as an additional resource, alongside the welcome, induction and transition plans that universities will have set up for their new students.
Professor Tim Blackman, Vice Chancellor at the OU, said:
“Starting out at university can be daunting, and we welcome the collaboration with the Russell Group to develop support for new students to help them settle into their studies. This is a resource aimed at helping students wherever they intend to study, whether that be at Russell Group universities, or elsewhere.
“As part of the Jumpstart University hub, OpenLearn content has been curated to create a resource for all universities and their incoming students. We hope to extend this collaboration to develop additional materials from the wider sector to continue to help new students move successfully into university study.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Chair of the Russell Group, commented:
“Russell Group universities are delighted to be able to welcome a record number of new students onto campus for the start of the new academic year.
“This year’s students have dealt admirably with disruption to their studies, and we’re pleased to be able to work with The Open University on a set of resources that will help them to settle in and hit the ground running at the start of term.
“These additional resources will complement other support that our universities have put in place for new students and will be freely available to students at all universities, to tap into as much or as little as they feel is appropriate for them.”
Jumpstart University has been created for students in England and Scotland. It has been developed from the OU’s existing platforms for Northern Ireland (Transition to Higher Education) and Wales (University Ready).
To access Jumpstart University, please visit: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/education-development/jumpstart-university