Winner of the Open Resilience Award 2021

For announcement October 29, 2021 meet the winner of the Open Resilience Award.

The Open Resilience Award is one of our special categories this year. It recognizes exemplary leadership and open educational practices implemented in the context of COVID-19. Activities that clearly demonstrate the implementation of open education practices to address opportunities and challenges arising from COVID-19.

The winner is…

OpenLearn’s Response to the Pandemic

The Open University, United Kingdom

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During the Coronavirus pandemic, OpenLearn built on its pioneering experience in distance learning at scale to empower more than 2.7 million people to enrol and learn through free online courses. The platform has also given a further 18 million people access to vital and relevant educational resources and activities to help them develop new skills since the UK first locked down on 23 March 2020. Its 22 dedicated professionals collaborated with their university’s academics, governments, employers and unions across the country to meet the population’s rapidly developing learning and support needs.

During one of the most unprecedented, challenging and distressing periods of recent human history, the free online learning platform’s inclusive, innovative and responsive work has positively impacted millions of people throughout the UK. It also cemented its parent university’s reputation as a global pioneer in distance learning and showcased its academics’ cutting-edge research, with an audience of 18 million people.

This award is dedicated to a small team with very big hearts and a commitment to open learning who delivered responsive, rapidly-commissioned content at a time when they themselves were compromised by the pandemic: some shielding, some bereaved, caring for parents, children and neighbours.

Years of embedding open educational practice within OpenLearn governance, strategy, processes and commissioning, enabled this rapid development of much-needed, targeted OER and enabled the team to rapidly meet the needs of government organisations and partner charities.

The team’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic embodies its university’s mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and responds to its vision to reach learners globally with life-changing education that meets their needs and enriches society.


Please reply and extend your congratulations to the winner or ask them any questions about their award winning efforts.

Thank you so much to OE Global for recognising the huge team effort that went into driving OpenLearn through the pandemic. It was a Herculean effort on behalf of everyone to not only keep the lights on as our users of OER surged four-fold over night, but also rapidly commission responsive, topical and much-needed content to keep people afloat career-wise and in support of their mental health.

We are shortly about to reach 100m learners since our launch in 2015, have just issued our 2 millionth free certificate and expect to have issued 2,000k digital badges by Christmas. This award is a reminder – to the wonderful and dedicated OpenLearn team and all its contributors – of your appreciation of their efforts. Thank you!