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Current collaborations and research

Two seated smiling women, in a meeting. Picture by JLco - Julia Amaral.We have a vibrant academic community who are actively engaged in a broad range of collaborations, plus scholarship and research projects, furthering our understanding of the latest issues and challenges affecting education. We can enable flexible and cost-effective staff development within education.  

Our partners come from the public and independent sectors in Scotland, the UK and around the globe. If you would like to discuss a possible collaboration, email

Information about our past collaborations

Our current projects include:

Professional online learning in Scottish education 

This Open University project is exploring experiences and perceptions of online professional learning among education practitioners across Scotland to support their development and career goals.

More than 180 practitioners from across early learning and childcare to the colleges sector were surveyed online.

A subsequent report - Who, what, how, and why: Scottish education practitioners and online professional learning (.pdf) - is contributing to discussions with the education sector in Scotland and within the Open University about the ongoing role of online professional learning.

Mock COP (Conference of the Parties)

Pupils participating at Mock COP28. Photo by Alison White.This collaborative event started during COP26 in Glasgow in 2021.

Working in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce Inverness and Central Highland and Highland One World Global Learning Centre, The Open University in Scotland invited four schools from the Highlands and Moray to take part in online mock climate negotiations.

Six groups from across the schools represented different countries to try and reach agreement on action for different climate change issues. 

The event has grown yearly, with in-person events held at Highland Council’s headquarters in Inverness. Overwhelmingly positive responses from participants, teachers and partners reflect the positive effects of the event on pupil and community engagement with climate change and the actual international negotiations.  

Find out more about the latest event (November 2023). 

Please email if you would like to find out more about Mock COP. 

National Progression Awards’ curriculum support - Cisco

Schools in Scotland have a unique opportunity to join the Cisco Networking Academy programme, through a pilot programme with the OU’s School of Computing and Communications. 

Teachers can train as Cisco instructors and access learning materials that support the curriculum for National Progression Awards in Computer Networking and Cyber Security in Scotland.

The OU’s Cisco Academy Support Centre and Instructor Training Centre is currently one of the biggest in the UK. 

Collaborating openly with others, we support a community of over 300 educational organisations, offering resources, support and professional development. 

To find out more, email

Languages for teachers - Scotland’s National Centre for Languages

Developed in collaboration with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, SCILT, our TEachers Learning to Teach languages (TELT) programme aims to increase and improve language provision in primary schools. Teachers simultaneously learn a new language and the skills to teach that language in the classroom.

Activities and packs - Glasgow Science Festival

Glasgow Science Festival logo 2022Our long-standing relationship with Glasgow Science Festival continues annually with activities ranging from free interactive Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum drop-in events, to online ‘Science on the Sofa’.

Topics in previous years have included making waves and climate change. 

We provided 1,000 ‘Glasgow Science Festival in a bag’ packs for local community groups / households in 2022, as part of our Scottish Funding Council-supported knowledge exchange activities.

Teachers’ Reading Groups - UK Literacy Association

Reading for Pleasure logoEight OU and UK Literacy Association Teachers’ Reading Groups are running for primary and secondary teachers in Scotland, from the Highlands to South Lanarkshire. Research-informed, these free continued professional development groups are led by OU-trained volunteers and aim to nurture young people’s reading for pleasure. 

Teresa Cremin, OU Professor of Literacy, says:

"I’m delighted the South Lanarkshire groups successfully applied for General Teaching Council for Scotland accreditation for their work, as this enriches the resultant case studies of teachers work shared on the OU Reading for Pleasure website and evidences the impact on younger readers."

Jill Queen, Netherburn Primary School / Teachers’ Reading Group Leader, says:

"The sessions provided me with an excellent insight and understanding into the importance of embedding and sustaining a reading for pleasure culture in school. Networking with teachers from other establishments was extremely worthwhile and a key component of the sessions."                                                                                                  

A smiling man and a laughing woman, seated at a table with laptopsCollege collaborations

College students, graduates and staff across Scotland are benefiting from the Open University's partnerships with colleges. 

College students can progress to an Open University degree that builds on college qualifications and lets them study at a pace and place that suits them. 

Find out more about college collaborations