Global education

The Open University has been committed to international development for over twenty years. We are globally recognised for our teaching and pioneering research within the sector, and for driving innovation.

Supporting teaching and learning abroad

We work on a wide range of international teacher education and development projects, in close partnership with the OU’s International Development Office, and have experience of working at scale in countries such as Malawi, India, Sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh to support teaching and learning.

Currently we are involved in a number of projects that also support girls and community education in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone.    


The Scottish Government's Ben Macpherson visiting a Zambian school class as part of the ZEST programmeIn partnership with the Scottish Government, we are working with World Vision and the Ministry of General Education in Zambia to improve the quality of teaching.

Find out more about our ZEST project (Zambian Education School-based Training), including technology that is used.

Scottish Government Minister Ben Macpherson (pictured right) met pupils and teachers at a school taking part in ZEST.

Resources for Africa

Our open educational resource, Active teaching and learning for Africa: ZEST, is relevant to teachers and those who support teachers across the continent. This school-based continuing professional development programme - Scottish Government funded - is designed to support a learner-centred approach to active teaching and learning, and can be adapted as needed. 

600 teachers and district officials from Zambia’s Central Province input to its development as part of our ZEST project (Zambian Education School-based Training). It includes reflective practice and supporting literacy across the curriculum.

Project principles

At the centre of all these projects are principles of:

  • Partnerships - working with governments, local universities and school leaders.
  • High quality learning materials - to support classroom practice in practical ways and also to support teachers’ own professional learning. 
  • Access and inclusion - many of our projects help marginalised groups, particularly girls and women or those with disabilities, to access education and training.  


Photo: Scottish Government