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New Director for PolicyWISE

The new Director of PolicyWISE, the OU’s major new public policy initiative launching later this year, will be part of the Business School. Although based in the OU in Wales’ Cardiff office, Dewi Knight (pictured) will head up a small team whose academic home will be in the Faculty of Business and Law, although they will adopt a University-wide remit and Four Nations scope.

Dewi joins the OU from the Welsh Government where he is Specialist Adviser for Education Reform. Working at the heart of Welsh government for over six years, he has helped drive forward the biggest post-war education reforms anywhere in the UK and had a key role in the development of the Welsh national education strategy.

He has held other senior policy advisory roles with the British Council in China, the University of Bedfordshire and he is a Leadership Mentor for UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellows Network.  

PolicyWISE will be the UK’s first academic network to lead policy research and knowledge exchange across the four nations of the UK and Ireland taking a deliberately comparative approach to public policy making in post-devolution, post-Brexit UK. The Open University has been awarded £1m in funding from Dangoor Education to its launch and development over four years.  

Early in his career, Dewi was Policy & Public Affairs Manager for the OU in Wales. He is excited to return to the OU on 20 February to take up this new four-nation role.

I’m delighted to come ‘home’ to the OU. It is a unique force across and for the nations and communities of the UK and Ireland. Working with colleagues across the OU, partner universities and our governments, I’m confident that PolicyWISE will play an essential role in meeting the public policy challenges around shared citizenship, well-being and prosperity.  

I hope to use my policy, government and education experience to realise opportunities for positive policy delivery and knowledge exchange right across the four nations, and build strong international policy, research and knowledge exchange relationships.”  

Dewi Knight

Dewi will be based in Cardiff heading up a small team of staff who will work across the UK and Ireland. A new External Affairs and Communications Manager starts on 27 February with recruitment to other roles ongoing. This includes two institutionally funded post-doctoral research positions linking the work of PolicyWISE to Societal Challenges and the OU’s own research strategy.   

We’re really pleased to welcome Dewi to this exciting new role. He brings significant experience to help drive forward PolicyWISE and to realise its full potential as a nexus to help create better public policy that has regard to place and the realities of devolution, but importantly really makes a difference to the lives of people and to communities.”  

Louise Casella
Director of the OU in Wales

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This article was originally published on The OU news website; click to read the original article.