Our blogs are written by OU academics, staff, students, and our partner organisations. They share their expertise and emerging research as well as comment on current social issues.
Healthcare support worker Mahri Carmichael is a studying learning disabilities nursing with the OU. Mahri discusses her route into nursing and reflects on this flexible, dynamic specialism.
21 June 2023
New research recognises the positive impact of staff upskilling on business success. Tim Lewis shares how the OU in Scotland can help businesses through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund.
20 June 2023
Graham Harvey, OU Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, discusses the collaboration between the OU in Scotland and the Crawick Multiverse, where we're co-hosting events to celebrate the artistic, scientific, and cultural significances of the summer solstice.
12 June 2023
Ahead of the European Cancer Nursing Day 2023 event in Edinburgh, Dr Wendy McInally, Senior Lecturer in the OU's School of Health, Wellbeing & Social Care, highlights the importance building the right knowledge, skills, and experience to deliver complex cancer care.
2 May 2023
The latest ground-breaking BBC/OU co-produced series, Wild Isles, is presented by Sir David Attenborough. OU in Scotland's Kate Signorini shares how Scotland is a star of the show.
17 April 2023
This Scottish Tourism Month, the OU’s David Allen highlights our support for the tourism and hospitality sector to recruit and retain staff, following Brexit and COVID-19 challenges.
24 March 2023
A range of employers, representatives from local educational institutions, and business leaders, came together to share their experiences of the local skills landscape, and challenges they're facing, reveals Tim Lewis, Business Relationships Manager at the OU in Scotland.
20 March 2023
The final article in our series inspired by OU/BBC Scotland co-production The Women Who Changed Modern Scotland is by journalist Catriona Stewart. She explores how women’s grassroots activism has thrived alongside juggling work, home and family.
7 March 2023
Academic adviser on the OU/BBC Scotland documentary, The Women Who Changed Modern Scotland, Dr Helen O’Shea, explains why we need to redefine our understanding of success when it comes to women’s participation in politics and how it impacts everyone.
28 February 2023
Academic advisor for the Open University/BBC Scotland documentary The Women Who Changed Modern Scotland, Dr Kim Barker, explores the development of women’s equality.
21 February 2023
OU students are helping to promote social justice by informing law reform in Scotland. Liz Hardie from the OU's Open Justice Centre explains how in this short blog.
20 February 2023
Employers across Scotland say that their organisations are facing acute skills shortages, with the impact leading to reduced output, profitability and growth. The OU's David Allen shares how Scotland's businesses of all sizes can access training to bridge vital skills gaps.
30 January 2023
The current shortfall in nursing staff has been described as a ‘ticking timebomb’. The OU provides accessible routes that open up nursing careers to more people, says the Liz Sturley from the OU's School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care.
12 December 2022
Part of the OU in Scotland's commitment to contribute to the cultural landscape of our country has been to support and partner with Scotland's book festivals. Derek Goldman, OU in Scotland's Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager, explains more.
14 November 2022
Athanasia Argyriadou is from Greece and lives in Scotland. She is working full-time and learning at the same time, thanks to the OU's open access ethos and supported distance learning methods. Athanasia shares her study journey in this short blog.
11 November 2022
Ayrton Beatty struggled at school, but the OU gave her the confidence to achieve her dream of gaining a degree in psychology. Ayrton shares her study journey in this blog.
10 November 2022
There are over forty people in secure facilities across Scotland – prisons and hospitals – currently studying OU modules. An OU in Scotland student shares how studying whilst in prison has given him an opportunity to turn his life around.
9 November 2022
Lyndsay Thomson from Cumbernauld overcame self-doubt and gained confidence to achieve an OU Business Management degree. She shares her OU journey in this short blog.
8 November 2022
Susan Stewart, Director of the OU in Scotland, reflects on student achievement and welcoming honorary graduates to the OU family at our recent Glasgow degree ceremonies.
7 November 2022
Stuart Johnstone is a published crime-fiction writer and an Open University graduate. Stuart shares how his childhood dream of becoming author came true thanks to the OU.
7 November 2022
One year has passed since Glasgow hosted the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference – or COP26 for short. The baton passes to Egypt for COP27 this month. Dr Leslie Mabon, OU Lecturer in Environmental Systems, explores progress made since COP26.
4 November 2022
Small businesses in Scotland can now access free training from the UK's largest university to help upskill their workforce. Tim Lewis, Business Relationships Manager at the OU in Scotland, explains how employers and employees can benefit from the fund.
3 October 2022
The Open Learning Champions project equips people across Scotland with the knowledge and skills to use the OU’s free learning resources, to help learners in their communities. Gill Ryan, OU in Scotland Access Participation & Success Manager, explores the project’s impact.
1 September 2022
We prioritise making education accessible to everyone, it's important to us that our students know we are here for them during the cost-of-living crisis says Viki Soper, Senior Manager of Student Operation and Fees.
22 August 2022
Flexible study is the best way to attract the next generation of social workers, says Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Head of Social Work for The Open University in Scotland.
22 July 2022
Shona Littlejohn, OU in Scotland's Depute Director for Student Experience and Widening Access, shines a light on the essential care our students provide.
8 June 2022
Lidia Dancu, OU in Scotland's Student Mental Health Co-ordinator, shares how the OU in Scotland and the OU Students Association are working together to support and improve the mental health and wellbeing of students resident in Scotland.
7 June 2022
Mathematics and Statistics expert Dr Andrew Potter, of the OU, writes about a codebreaking challenges app on OU free learning platform OpenLearn, plus the maths that lies behind them.
29 April 2022
The OU's Head of Broadcast & Partnerships, Dr Caroline Ogilvie, shares her thoughts on our unique partnership with the BBC and how we work together to 'Bring Learning to Life'.
5 April 2022
Ewe and Lidia from OU in Scotland’s Access, Participation and Success Team share their experiences of studying with the OU and of building communities through Big Blether events.
9 February 2022
Shona Littlejohn, OU in Scotland's Depute Director for Student Experience and Widening Access, shares why the OU is excited to be working with partners to offer a range of development opportunities to Scotland's community learning and development workforce.
31 January 2022
In this short blog, an Open University in Scotland graduate shares how studying with the OU whilst in prison enabled him to take control of his own destiny.
26 January 2022
OpenLearn, the OU’s home of free learning, has attracted 100 million visitors in the past 15 years. Head of OpenLearn Dr Patrina Law discusses its achievements and social mission.
19 January 2022
Viki Soper is an Access, Participation and Success Officer at The Open University in Scotland. In this blog Viki shares what student voice means to her and how it informs her work.
19 November 2021
Joe Turner-Law is a Senior Adviser at the OU in Scotland and an OU student. In this blog Joe shares what it’s like combining his studies and his work supporting fellow students.
18 November 2021
Allan Kavuma was forced to migrate from his homeland of Uganda to the UK. In this blog Allan shares his journey to achieving his goals, through studying with The Open University.
17 November 2021
There are over forty people in secure facilities across Scotland – prisons and hospitals – currently studying OU undergraduate modules. In this short blog, a literature and creative writing student in a secure environment shares what it’s like studying with the OU.
16 November 2021
Graeme Smith, Team Manager in Student Recruitment and Support at the OU in Scotland, shares his personal experience as a COP26 Observer and his compelling takeaways.
10 November 2021
Ways that Scottish football might adapt in the coming years due to climate change, and steps to reduce its extent, are discussed by Dr Leslie Mabon, OU Environmental Systems Lecturer.
09 November 2021
With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) underway in Glasgow, the OU is proud to be a part of the proceedings to offer a “culture and science” perspective on the impacts of climate change, says Professor Nicholas Braithwaite.
08 November 2021
How the OU supports union members to develop their careers and find new employment opportunities is explored by Michael Conroy, a Learning Organiser for Unite the Union.
23 September 2021
Access for trade union members to learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond, is discussed by Tommy Breslin, a Senior Development Officer for Scottish Union Learning within the Scottish Trades Union Congress.
23 September 2021
Delivering race equality in education with actions, not just words, is explored in this blog by Sas Amoah, OU Digital Media Producer and Co-Chair of OU’s Black & Minority Ethnic Network.
27 August 2021
The OU's open-access programme which is helping people across Scotland to become nurses is explored in this short blog by Wendy McInally, OU Senior Lecturer in Nursing.
12 May 2021
The Open University's unique and globally recognised model of supported distance learning has come into its own, as we have all adapted to a changing world with the Covid-19 pandemic, says OU in Scotland Director, Susan Stewart.
23 April 2021
OU skills training of up to £5,000 which small to medium-sized enterprises across Scotland can access via a Scottish Government fund, is discussed by Suzanne McQuade, OU Business Relationships Manager for Scotland.
19 April 2021
Discover how the OU is supporting an inclusive economic recovery from the COVID pandemic, and our vision for the next Scottish Parliament, in this blog by Marie Hendry, OU in Scotland Depute Director.
12 April 2021
Geologist, OU Senior Lecturer and Gold Town programme advisor Dr Julie Robson discusses geology’s role in gold exploration and sustainable management of the planet’s resources, ahead of episode three of the OU/BBC documentary.
19 March 2021
How Scotland can rebuild its economy in an inclusive manner post-pandemic is explored in this blog by Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland.
18 March 2021
Gold mining in the Highlands is the focus of new OU/BBC documentary Gold Town. Dr Gerry Mooney, an OU Senior Lecturer and programme adviser, explores the global connections of nearby Tyndrum.
12 March 2021
The pandemic’s impact on carers, and a new free resource for staff at universities to be able to better support student carers, are discussed by Gill Ryan, an OU Access, Participation and Success Officer.
11 March 2021
As we start 2021 with so many things we'd normally do still off limits, there’s a wide range of free content to help you move forward, says Shona Littlejohn, OU in Scotland Depute Director.
07 January 2021
Skilled people are vital in helping with economic recovery. The OU is committed to providing flexible online education to support and upskill people across Scotland, says Diane Cooper, OU in Scotland Partnership Manager.
23 November 2020
In challenging times for the global economy and jobs market, support will be needed more than ever for workers looking to retrain or reskill, says OU in Scotland Director, Student Stewart.
17 November 2020
Scotland’s first black professor, leading human rights activist and Open University honorary graduate, Prof Sir Geoff Palmer CD, shares reflections on Scotland’s black slavery history and the importance of teaching it today.
29 October 2020
Award-winning care experienced Open University Bachelors graduate and Masters student Carol Hunter shares her personal and educational experiences, in this blog for Care Experienced Week 2020.
28 October 2020
Award-winning disability rights campaigner, inspirational public speaker and OU student Dr Julie McElroy, shares first-hand how supportive access to higher education can empower people with disabilities.
22 October 2020
Andrew Potter, Staff Tutor in Maths and Statistics at the OU in Scotland, explores how the OU is helping people across Scotland to overcome their maths fears.
28 September 2020
Suzanne McQuade, OU Business Relationships Manager for Scotland, explores how IBM is utilising the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme in Scotland to upskill its talent pipeline from within.
16 September 2020
Emergency Department Nurse at the Western Isles Hospital, Helen Kafantari Maciver, shares her journey from healthcare assistant to staff nurse, via an Open University degree.
16 September 2020
Learning has an essential role in Scotland's economic recovery post Covid-19, says the OU in Scotland's Director, Susan Stewart.
24 August 2020
The experiences of novelist Bernardine Evaristo’s character chime with those of many OU students, says OU in Scotland Director, Susan Stewart.
21 August 2020
The OU has taken a rapid, responsive approach during the pandemic to help minimise the impact for workers and businesses, says Marie Hendry, its Scotland Depute Director for External Engagement and Partnerships.
15 July 2020
With Scotland’s students and school pupils abruptly switching to online study due to the Covid-19 pandemic, OU Senior Lecturer Laura Alexander shares advice to help with the challenge.
30 June 2020
Schools will always be the best place for children to learn, but there can be a role for other bodies to complement and support teachers and parents in a way that works for them, says OU in Scotland Director Susan Stewart.
29 June 2020
While many of us are trying to keep ourselves and others engaged and informed at home by going online, it seems particularly significant that this week is National Digital Learning Week. Indeed, it’s a week full of timely and respectful tributes. Susan Stewart, Director of the OU in Scotland, explores five ways to mark these celebrations, with free online learning.
14 May 2020
In these strange days, you may feel that learning is the last thing on your mind. But since the beginning of lockdown, the OU's free learning platform OpenLearn has welcomed a record numbers of visitors, says OU in Scotland's Gill Ryan.
11 May 2020
People have been made to isolate to delay the spread of COVID-19, but there are several risks of self-isolation to older people. This blog by the OU's Dr Jitka Vseteckova offers some tips on how to combat these risks. These tips will be explored further at an Ageing Well Virtual Talk with Dr Vseteckova on Thursday 7 May 2020.
5 May 2020
In Stress Awareness Month, Ben Wood of The OU's Open Media and Informal Learning Unit writes about resources available on free learning site OpenLearn.
15 April 2020
In Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Marie Hendry, OU in Scotland Depute Director for External Engagement and Partnerships, discusses upskilling opportunities for businesses.
6 March 2020
On World Day of Social Justice, Susan Stewart, Director of the Open University in Scotland, celebrates making education open to all, regardless of educational background.
20 February 2020
While we’re celebrating Burns Night, it’s also a time to celebrate the recent developments and the bright future for the Scots Language, says Scots Scriever, Dr Michael Dempster.
24 January 2020
As a touring exhibition opens on the life of Jennie Lee, a founder of The Open University, OU in Scotland Director Susan Stewart shares ten things about Jennie that you might not know.
30 October, 2019
Wendy Craig and Aimee Bainbridge, teachers at Newtonhill Primary School in Aberdeenshire, discuss their participation in the Open University’s TELT programme – TEachers Learning to Teach languages.
10 September, 2019
Marie Hendry, OU in Scotland Depute Director, External Engagement and Partnerships, discusses the benefits to workforces of staff skills development, as an OU Roadshow with several employer events across the country gets set to launch.
22 August, 2019
Ahead of her event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival Catherine Simpson, author of 'When I Had a Little Sister' and Open University alumnus, shares her experiences.
13 August, 2019
With anniversaries being celebrated of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, and The Open University being founded, Dr Mahesh Anand discusses projects he has led at the OU working on Apollo samples, and looks to the future of space exploration.
24 July, 2019
Susan Stewart, Director of the Open University in Scotland, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the OU and the lives it has changed.
24 April, 2019
On the International Day of Happiness, Professor of Economics at the OU, Paul Anand, discusses happiness in Scotland and other countries.
20 March, 2019
Marie Hendry, OU in Scotland Depute Director, External Engagement and Partnerships, writes about the importance of opening education, skills development and careers paths to all.
8 March, 2019
Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations is discussed by Dr Carol Jacklin-Jarvis, from the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership within The Open University Business School.
15 February, 2019
Gerry Mooney, Senior OU Lecturer in Social Policy and Criminology, examines events in Glasgow's George Square 100 years ago, and explains why they remain so vivid for many in the city today.
31 January, 2019
OU creative writing tutor Jules Horne, an award-winning playwright and fiction writer, shares her experience of using an online classroom for a workshop on Hamlet with students in diverse locations.
30 January, 2019
Siobhan Campbell is Co-Chair of the Master of Arts in Creative Writing at the OU and editor of ‘Courage and Strength: Stories and Poems by Combat Veterans’. She writes about projects with veterans of the military forces.
28 January, 2019
Martin Upton, Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (PUFin) at the Open University Business School, shares some steps for reviewing household finances.
8 January, 2019
Dr John Murray, Volcanologist and a Senior OU Research Fellow, explains how research by a Scottish geologist on the Ardnamurchan peninsula decades ago helps inform present volcano studies.
29 November, 2018
Susan Stewart, Director of The OU in Scotland, writes about open educational resources and their role in helping develop entrepreneurship, particularly in rural areas.
22 November, 2018
Officially one of the ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering’, Carol Morris, OU Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Innovation, calls for more females to consider a career in engineering.
8 November, 2018
Scott Montgomery is retraining for a new career, doing an OU degree part-time through a collaborative teaching arrangement with Ayrshire College. He talks about his learner journey, and the College’s Shelagh McLachlan - herself an OU graduate - shadows Scott for a day.
29 August, 2018
Humour has always provided a vehicle for performers - and the rest of us - to explore difficult topics, says James Robson, Professor of Classical Studies and Head of the School of Arts and Cultures at The OU. How is this playing out in summer 2018?
15 August, 2018
Software engineer Sam Orme is an OU graduate. He transferred credit from his college HND (Higher National Diploma) in Computing: Software Development towards his OU degree. Sam gained his university qualification while working full-time.
08 August, 2018
In the month that the NHS marks its 70th anniversary, Dr Kerry Jones, OU Lecturer in End of Life Care, examines the support and care that people with dementia get towards the end of life.
31 July, 2018
OU Associate Lecturer in English Literature Dr Michael Rodgers argues that the uneasiness we experience reading the work of Vladimir Nabokov can be positive - and that the benefits of uneasiness extend to everyday life, including the student experience.
22 June, 2018
Tendayi Bloom, Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at The OU, asks if a state has the right to suddenly choose which of us can be included in society and which cannot.
21 June, 2018
The OU's Dr Lore Gallastegi updates on the Zambian Educational School-based Training (ZEST) project, which centres around Continuing Professional Development for teachers.
13 June, 2018
Reflections from Shona Littlejohn, OU in Scotland Depute Director, Student Experience and Widening Access, following The OU's Widening Participation Conference.
31 May, 2018
With the eruption of the Kīlauea volcano in Hawai'i, dangerous corrosive acid mist is being produced, as well as new land, writes OU Honorary Associate Dr Dave McGarvie.
24 May, 2018
Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Manager Dr Simona Foscarin shares highlights from The OU's participation in the recent DataFest18, a festival of innovation.
13 April, 2018
Shona Littlejohn, Depute Director, Student Experience and Widening Access, at The OU in Scotland writes about supporting students with disabilities.
3 April, 2018
On International Women's Day, OU Honorary Graduate Maria Macnamara writes about the work of her charity, Smalls for All, which helps women and children in Africa.
8 Mar, 2018
The OU's Dr Joyce Cavaye writes about the growing discipline of nutritional psychiatry, that focuses on food and supplements to provide essential nutrients in treatment for mental health disorders.
2 Mar, 2018
On World Book Day, Susan Stewart - Director of The Open University in Scotland - shares the five books she rates as her favourites.
1 Mar, 2018
The OU's Dr Martin Robb writes about the 'Supporting Boys' conference in Glasgow, at which he spoke about research projects into young men, masculinity and role models.
27 Feb, 2018
Charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profits can discover at 'The Gathering', Scotland's largest free event for the third sector, how The OU can help support their staff and volunteers gain new skills and develop.
16 Feb, 2018
Graduate Michaela Olver shares her journey from Health Care Support Worker to Staff Nurse, via an Open University degree she gained while working.
23 Jan, 2018
We kick off the New Year with some top tips on managing your personal finances from OU expert, Martin Upton.
04 Jan, 2018
As 2017 draws to a close, we look back at some of the news stories and blogs that have been making the headlines on The OU in Scotland website in 2017.
21 Dec, 2017
Professor Annika Mombauer discusses how bombs rained down on Clydebank in 1941.
05 Dec, 2017
A volcano close to home that is showing signs of activity according to Dr Dave McGarvie.
28 Nov, 2017
The Open University is developing a one-year school-based teacher development programme in Zambia.
13 Oct, 2017
An estimated 100,000 people live with dementia in Scotland and that number is set to increase year on year. Dementia is a catch-all term for a number of degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, for which there is currently no cure.
21 Sept, 2017
Educational resources are increasingly available online. The shift from print to digital has been rapid and much of the material is ‘open’ in the sense that it is freely available to anyone with an internet connection and an appropriate digital device
08 Sept, 2017
One of the first conclusions drawn by Professor Sir Peter Scott in his early work as the Scottish Government’s Commissioner for Fair Access, is that reaching the targets set out in A Blueprint for Fairness requires “a radical project, more radical perhaps than we care to acknowledge”