Kevin Shakesheff is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation with senior responsibility for strategic leadership and implementation of the institutional plans for research, commercial activities and scholarship. The PVC portfolio includes the Research, Enterprise & Scholarship (RES) Unit, the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) and the Business Development Unit (BDU), which incorporates the Microcredentials and Short Courses team.
The RES Unit facilitates the University's excellence in research, enterprise, scholarship and external engagement as well as to provide expert strategic and support services across these activities. It works in support of Faculties, Schools and Institutes, as well as with a wide range of external partners, collaborators and funders. It is responsible for the University’s submissions to the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF) and our institutional approach to knowledge exchange and expansion of entrepreneurial activities.
The Institute of Educational Technology sits at the heart of the OU’s pedagogy and research strategy, providing engaged excellence in educational technology research and expertise to inform and improve the University’s mission.
The Business Development Unit collaborates university-wide to expand the University’s influence and accessibility to a wider range of learners by utilising various channels (employers and partners) and providing diverse learning opportunities, including apprenticeships. This effort aims to foster growth and income diversification. Special emphasis is placed on advancing skills-based initiatives, ensuring that the University can seize these opportunities by offering strategic guidance, leadership, and facilitating relevant activities.
The Microcredentials and Short Courses Team sits within BDU and works with colleagues across The Open University to lead the development of credit and non-credit-bearing skill-based courses. The team is responsible for the commissioning, development and delivery of courses and the progression of new approaches for counting smaller units of academic credit towards wider qualifications. The team collaborates with a wide range of industry partners including Cisco, AWS and The Agile Business Consortium.