The OU’s vision is to reach people with life-changing learning that meets their needs and enriches society, focusing on those people and places where there is the greatest need. We will do this during COVID-19 and beyond, guided by our enduring values of inclusivity, innovation and responsiveness.

The Open University

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Non-profit organization
Established : 1969
Education and COVID-19 Response

Support the equitable continuation of learning
During the COVID-19 pandemic
Ensure a full and fair return to education
Following the pandemic
Strengthen learning systems
For the future
Supporting and empowering educators

EIA Bangladesh - working with Government of Bangladesh at national scale (over 50,000 teachers & 7M learners) improving student learning outcomes in English using offline mobile learning on teachers phones.

Our series of MOOCs through TESSA and TESS-India reaching 60,000+ teachers and teacher educators across Sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Research pieces, such as: Quality Teaching and the Capability Approach. Evaluating the work and governance of women teachers in rural Sub-Saharan Africa.

COVID-19 response - CHILD (Community Help for Inclusive Learning and Development) research, exploring how marginalised rural communities can support children’s daily learning - lo-tech/no-tech response by Improving Gender Attitudes, Transition and Education Outcomes programme - World Vision, Care and OU partnership in Zimbabwe.

COVID-19 response - mobilising the TESSA network, through the African Council for Distance Education, to reach 1,700 participants from 11 countries on two free facilitated OU courses -Take you teaching online and making teacher education relevant for 21st Century Africa.

Regional Focus


Countries of Interest

Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe


Throughout its 51-year history, the OU has supported students from the widest range of backgrounds to develop their skills and further their life choices through quality supported open and distance learning. For 20+ years, we have shared our expertise and learning through a range of international partnerships with governments, universities and NGOs to extend educational opportunity globally, supporting millions of teachers, educators and learners in challenging low resourced environments. Our pedagogy situates teachers’ and educators’ professional learning within their practice, overlaying the contexts and processes of teacher learning with those of student learning to, improve learning outcomes for students. We collaborate with all who have a stake in change to create local support networks and conducive environments for learning, drawing on high-quality learning activities, materials and relevant platforms. With Coalition members, we commit to sharing our learning on working at scale in communities and schools, reaching the unreachable, harnessing lo-tech/no-tech solutions during COVID-19 and beyond. We commit to generating evidence into emerging practices and initiatives that lead the thinking and actions of policy-makers, practitioners and communities for a more resilient future for children. We will make available our academic and research expertise in reshaping this education future.

Action areas

Learner Wellbeing

Learning opportunities

Digital Learning Content

Digitize curriculum
Develop or provide free and contextually appropriate learning content
Create or enable access to teacher training resources

Capacity Development

Capacity development to support distance learning
Capacity development to strengthen system resilience and response to future shocks
Capacity development to support and provide training to teaching staff

Advocacy and Communication

Evaluate the effectiveness of distance learning strategies

Primary Contact

Ms. Claire Hedges

Senior Programmes Manager, International Development Office

Senior Contact

Mr. Matthew Foster

Director, International Development Office