Close this search box.

News & Events

Nisai Virtual Academy and Staffordshire University win prestigious research award

Nisai Virtual Academy is the first online education provider in the United Kingdom to win a government innovation grant – a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Staffordshire University – awarded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).

The Staffordshire University team will work with Nisai Group in applying academic knowledge and critical understanding of the on-going disruption to children’s progress as part of the long-term fall-out of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. We know that a significant number of schools and families are continuing to experience real issues in terms of children’s low attendance, poor engagement and rejection of the formal education system. Key to the success of the project will be involving those children, schools and families in the research and service design.

Dr Jim Pugh, Director of the Institute of Education said: ‘Staffordshire University has a track record of research and evaluation projects which fall within the realm of widening access and participation to education, and which align strongly to the projects aims and outcomes. We’re really excited to be involved in this project as it presents a novel research and development challenge – developing cutting edge digital approaches to learning and teaching for the compulsory sector.’

As one of the very first online educators in the UK, Nisai Virtual Academy has been innovating at the edge of what is possible using digital technologies for over 20 years – constantly seeking more effective ways to meet the needs of learners facing barriers to quality education. The demand for different services, and service delivery, within the education market over the last four years have created a changed environment. Uniquely in the UK, the KTP will provide an opportunity for these changes to be properly evaluated and understood. 

From left to right:
Phil O’Neil – Employer Partnership Development Manager, Staffordshire University
Dr Jim Pugh – Director of the Institute of Education
Paul Keenleyside – Executive Director, Nisai Education Trust
Alex Harvey – Project Manager, Staffordshire University, Research Innovation and Impact Services 

Paul Keenleyside, Executive Director at Nisai Education Trust, said: ‘We want to find out how the sector can develop new ways of using hybrid learning to better meet individual needs. As an online provider, we are often the only people offering high-quality, continuous, education at difficult times in young people’s lives. This research is vital, coming as it does at a time when we are seeing a societal shift in perception of education and schooling.’

The 2.5-year project will find out more about how we can best use non-traditional education to ensure that all children get access to high-quality education. It will then develop innovative services that will enable children and young people to stay engaged in the education process – gaining the outcomes they need and deserve in a rapidly changing economic and technological environment.  

Dhruv Patel, Founder and CEO of Nisai Group commented: ‘In an education landscape revolutionised by digital technology we must ensure that we meet the moral and economic imperatives to ensure equitable access to quality education for every learner, regardless of learning need, age, background or socio-economic status. This project is proof of both organisations passion for, and commitment to, that cause!’ 

For more information about the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, please contact Paul Keenleyside at [email protected] or contact Nisai at:

Share on :


Latest News

Nisai’s New Manifesto!

We are thrilled to unveil our new manifesto, a bold vision for the future that embraces innovation, inclusivity, and equity. Our manifesto is more than just words—it’s a commitment to action. We’re dedicated to driving change and creating a better

Read More >
This website is using cookies. For the best possible web experience, please provide your authorisation to use our cookies and to permanently remove this message