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New Centre for Languages opens

A quiet street in Berlin, Germany

The Open Centre for Languages and Culture is the exciting new home for non-accredited short courses in languages and intercultural communication developed by the OU’s School of Languages and Applied Linguistics.

The Centre aims to enable students from anywhere across the globe and in any time zone, to study a wide range of languages and language-related subjects, whatever their motivation – leisure, professional development or academic.

A one stop shop for communication in an interconnected world, the Centre will officially launch in Spring 2021 with pre-launch short courses beginning in October 2020.

The Centre is specifically designed to be agile and responsive to the needs of learners who want to be part of a global society and is particularly important in light of a continuing declining languages market in the UK. Its approach is designed to reach large numbers of people and build on the OU’s founding principles of promoting equality, inclusion, and social justice.

These drivers and values have become even more pertinent in the context of the global pandemic in which the Centre is being launched as Dr Mirjam Hauck, Director of the Open Centre for Languages and Culture, explains:

“Widening access to language learning and intercultural communicative skills are vital to creating an inclusive society. Covid-19 has made this very clear. The need to communicate truth and reliability of information became key to managing public health effectively around the globe. The Open Centre will provide learning that is highly relevant in this context and in light of a continuing declining languages market in the UK.” 

As of now the Open Centre offers non-accredited short courses, each costing £199, in Chinese and Chinese Business Culture, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Welsh. Each course is a maximum of 16 weeks long and requires just 4-5 hours of study a week delivered on the OU’s online Learning Environment.

From 2021 it will also be leading the way in high quality short courses for academic research methods and pre-sessional English with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Also, in the pipeline are courses on artificial intelligence in the workplace, intercultural communication in business settings, British Sign Language and languages for health and social care.

Flexibility is at the heart of the Open Centre therefore students also have the option to turn this learning into accredited learning via the OU’s unique Making your Learning Count module.

Find out more and sign up for a course

Please see the OU’s online prospectus to find out more about the courses currently on offer from The Open Centre for Languages and Cultures.

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