New online resources to help students starting university

24 August 2021

Jumpstart University provides free resources from The Open University curated with the Russell Group to support all students to get off to a great start at their new university or college.

The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities, and The Open University has today (24 August) launched Jumpstart University to help students to prepare for and settle into their studies at university.

The hub provides a range of online materials from OpenLearn, The Open University’s free learning platform, which are aimed at helping students prepare for university with confidence.

It includes courses to help with study skills, wellbeing and mental health, and student life, as well as subject-specific courses. Users can search by topic or subject area to get access to the resources they need.

Jumpstart University is open to all students – whichever university or college they’re enrolling at – as well as those supporting them such as parents, teachers, carers, or advisers.

Russell Group universities are very conscious that Covid-19 has disrupted the studies of many students starting university in September and so want to ensure these students have all the support they need to make the transition as smooth as possible. This new hub will be used as an additional resource, alongside the welcome, induction and transition plans that have already been set up by Russell Group universities for their new students. 

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Chair of the Russell Group, said:

“Russell Group universities are delighted to be able to welcome a record number of new students onto campus for the start of the new academic year.

“This year’s students have dealt admirably with disruption to their studies, and we’re pleased to be able to work with The Open University on a set of resources that will help them to settle in and hit the ground running at the start of term.

“These additional resources will complement other support that our universities have put in place for new students and will be freely available to students at all universities, to tap into as much or as little as they feel is appropriate for them.”

Professor Tim Blackman, Vice Chancellor at The Open University, said:

“Starting out at university can be daunting, and we welcome the collaboration with the Russell Group to develop support for new students to help them settle into their studies. This is a resource aimed at helping students wherever they intend to study, whether that be at Russell Group universities, or elsewhere.  

“As part of the Jumpstart University hub, OpenLearn content has been curated to create a resource for all universities and their incoming students. We hope to extend this collaboration to develop additional materials from the wider sector to continue to help new students move successfully into university study.

“This also builds on The Open University’s existing developments in Northern Ireland (Transition to Higher Education) and Wales (University Ready), where similar programmes have been launched.”  

Ben Dolbear, President of the University of Southampton Students' Union, said:

“Going to university for the first time is one of the most exciting times in a young person's life, but it can also come with its challenges. That is why I am in full support of the Jumpstart University initiative from the Russell Group and The Open University, which I hope will smooth the transition to university for thousands of future students as well as demystify what students can expect from life in higher education.”

Jumpstart University has been created for students in England and Scotland. It has been developed from The Open University’s existing platforms for Northern Ireland (Transition to Higher Education) and Wales (University Ready).

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