Welsh Government advisor secures top OU policy role

The Open University has confirmed the appointment of Dewi Knight to the role of Director of PolicyWISE, a major new public policy initiative which will launch later this year.


Dewi joins the OU from the Welsh Government where he is Specialist Adviser for Education Reform. He will lead PolicyWISE, the UK’s first academic network to undertake comparative policy research and knowledge exchange across the four nations of the UK and Ireland. The Open University has been awarded £1m in funding from Dangoor Education to support the launch and development of PolicyWISE over the next four years.

Working at the heart of Welsh government for over six years, Dewi has helped drive forward the biggest post-war education reforms anywhere in the UK and played a key role in the development of the Welsh national education strategy. Previously, he 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.

Louise Casella, Director of the OU in Wales, who has led the initial development of PolicyWISE, said:

“We’re really pleased to welcome Dewi to this exciting new role at the Open University. 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.”

Dewi Knight said:

“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.”

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