All about… The senate six

In the first of our "All About..." series, we introduce you to the Open University's academic authority's six student members.


The Senate is the academic authority of The Open University which meets four times a year to discuss anything that relates to the academic work of the University both in teaching and research.

There are currently over 100 members of the Senate ranging right across the university, including tutors, nations directors, and the Vice Chancellor’s Executive. The Senate membership includes six student members who are decided by the Students Association.

The Senate Six is composed of three student members of the Central Executive Committee, all in an ex-officio capacity:

•    President – Sarah Jones

•    Vice President Education – Cinnomen McGuigan

•    Student Member of the Council – Danielle Smith

…And three student representatives appointed by the Appointments Committee on behalf of the Board of Trustees

Senate Reference Group

To help the six student members of the Senate prepare for each of their meetings the OU Students Association Senate Reference Group offers a wider perspective. Its purpose is to act in an advisory capacity to the ‘Senate Six’ and to provide the opportunity to draw on the diversity of circumstances, views and opinions of other students in both asynchronous and in-person ways.

What is discussed?

To give you an idea of what kind of topics are discussed, the agenda for the last meeting covered issues including:

  • Strategy
  • Institutional Performance
  • Academic Governance Review
  • Group Tuition Policy
  • Broadcast Strategy – collaborations with the BBC
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion matters

And we also look at reports and minutes from a range of other academic and governance committees.


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