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Science for everyone as £1m pledge supports new Open University courses

Updated Tuesday, 27 November 2018
People from all walks of life with an interest in science have been able to access a range of new courses by The Open University completely free of charge, thanks to a pledge in 2013 of more than £1m from Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch’s Foundation.

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The pledge has enabled The Open University to create an entire strand of new science-related badged open courses, delivered through the OpenLearn platform, and syndicated to iTunes, Amazon and Google. Dangoor Education supported badged courses offer whole OU courses at no cost to the student, ranging from exploring the Moon to investigations into cancer and autism. Learners don’t need to be formally registered students – anyone can sign up to study a badged course.

Badged courses provide another way of helping learners to progress from informal to formal learning. Digital badges are a way of demonstrating new skills online. Gaining a badge often boosts confidence in the skills and abilities that underpin successful study.

David Dangoor of The Exilarch’s Foundation, said: ‘The Open University offers a high quality education at a scale which is unmatched, not only in the UK, but globally. Dangoor Education, through The Exilarch’s Foundation, is delighted to support the OU’s bold step, making innovative science teaching freely available to anyone with access to the internet. We hope that these pioneering courses will help more people turn an interest in science into a qualification and even a career.’

Ex-Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, said: ‘This generous donation is so much more than a one-off contribution – it’s an investment in the future that will impact on millions of lives for many years to come. It’s typical of David’s long-term commitment to education and one of the many reasons I admire him personally.’

Professor Hazel Rymer, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Students) at The Open University, said: ‘With The Exilarch’s Foundation’s generous support, we aim to make The Open University the leading provider of free, online science courses. New technology means we can deliver an innovative, interactive experience of science like never before. Drawing on over 40 years of teaching science at a distance, this donation will enable us to take accessible courses to the next level.’

The first courses supported by Dangoor Education launched on 18 November 2013. To register and for more information on The Open University’s new free online courses, visit OpenLearn, or take a look below, at a sample of what we have to offer, thanks to Dangoor Education support.


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