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In 2022, we embarked on a new research mission to address three crucial societal challenges:

  • Sustainability
  • Tackling Inequalities
  • Living Well

At the OU, these are known as Open Societal Challenges (OSCs).

You can find out more about research at The Open University here.

Research, innovation and engagement in Wales

The OU in Wales has produced a Research Wales Innovation Fund Strategy. Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of Wales (HEFCW), the strategy highlights how we'll develop our research, innovation and engagement work over the next three years.

The strategy is aligned to Welsh Government priorities and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

Building on co-designed, partnership working across sectors over the past two years, our focus will be on:

  • skills development, working closely with further education colleges and employers for continuing professional development
  • developing and sharing OU research and knowledge to the people of Wales, contributing to wider societal impact through our civic mission
  • enhancing our offer of free, bilingual, online learning and supporting access to this through our OU Champions programme.

Click here to read our Research Wales Innovation Fund Strategy

The impact of our research in Wales

Man helping an elderly man with an iPad
 People gardening in a community



Other research

The OSCs replace the strategic research areas (SRAs) that underpinned our previous research plan. However, thematic, cross-institutional research will continue across some of these SRAs, which are:

  • Citizenship and governance
  • Health and wellbeing
  • International Development
  • Space exploration
  • Technology enhanced learning

If you would like to discuss the OU’s research activities or working with our academics, e-mail