Goal 3: Extend the global reach of Oxford’s educational opportunities

The University mission is the advancement of learning by teaching and research, and its dissemination by every means. Support is needed for those departments that are developing online courses and resources. The main reason given by these departments is the potential to reach a global international audience, notably to reach students in low- and middle-income countries, and professionals who are studying and working at the same time. Departments with established portfolios of online courses are interacting with audiences from up to 176 countries.

This goal also supports the University’s strategic priority for public engagement and knowledge exchange through ‘continued investing in digital tools and infrastructure to be a leader in open scholarship and support open access to collections and research data outputs’ (Strategic Plan 2018-24, Engagement and Partnership Priorities, priority 20). The GLAM Digital Programme and the Bodleian Libraries Strategy (2022-27) have set ambitious targets to enhance access to digitized collections. Building capacity and capabilities to produce digital assets and develop online courses will facilitate the sharing of Oxford’s educational opportunities more openly, such as those currently available through the Oxford Podcasts service.   

Eliminating geographical barriers also enhances the experience for students in Oxford, who can engage with international experts and peers, take advantage of interdisciplinary curricula, and access physical resources remotely to enhance research-based teaching.



Provide those departments that wish to develop online courses with access to the partnerships, platforms, commercial models and services needed to accelerate their development.


Enter into University-wide partnerships with a range of internal and external preferred suppliers to provide different options for departments seeking platforms and support for online courses.


Develop governance and quality enhancement and assurance processes for online courses that maintain the distinctiveness and quality expected from education at Oxford.


Extend services to support course teams in the design of teaching, learning and assessment in online courses.


Invest in digital asset management platforms that extend the storage and sharing of open educational resources; and provide clarity on the copyright implications of sharing materials openly.


Agree ambitious goals and scope for an ‘Open Oxford’ initiative to support our aspirations for openness, propelling interdisciplinary discussions worldwide, and recognising the impact for potential students, current students, and lifelong and informal learners.



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