Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions were last updated on Monday 8th November.

What is Conference?

The OU Students Association Conference happens once every two years and is a weekend filled with opportunities to meet other students, get involved in your Students Association, take part in key Association business, find out about the services and support your Association offers, feedback to us on what matters to you, take part in workshops and network with other OU students.

Where and when will this Conference be held?

The OU Students Association biennial Conference 2022 will take place over the weekend of Friday, 21 January to Sunday, 23 January 2022. This will be our second online-only event, following on from the success of Conference 2020. 

Am I eligible to attend?

All Open University students are welcome to enter the ballot, including students new to the University.  Conference is open to all OU students who have studied with the OU within the last two years unless they have completed their qualification. You will be asked to share your Personal Identifier (PI number), which is a letter followed by seven numbers; please make sure that this is accurate, as it is our way of verifying you on our system.

How do I get a place?

You will need to register to be able to attend Conference. We are limited on numbers, and we need to know who is attending. Therefore, a ballot is taking place in order to allocate places. Randomised software will be used in allocating delegate places. This is to ensure ensure that all interested students have an equal chance of being selected. 

You can enter the ballot by completing this form.  

How will I know if I have been allocated a place? 

The ballot closes on Monday 29 November. We will then use randomised software to allocate the places. We will notify you by Eventbrite on Friday3 December if you are successful and you will receive a link to complete an online registration form. Please check your spam folders – just in case! 

Why do I have to complete another form?

The information provided to enter the ballot is limited to that required to check your eligibility for a place at Conference. If you have been drawn in the ballot, we will need to collect further information from you to help us to organise the event and ensure we are aware of any requirements or needs you may have. 

How will you safeguard my personal data?

We will only ask you for information we require for the purposes of managing the event. We will be using Eventbrite for the registration process, and you can read their Privacy Policy here. We will download your information from our account with Eventbrite so we can make the necessary arrangements. Our processes are designed to ensure we take the greatest care of your personal data. After the event, once we have completed our evaluation, your data will be deleted. We may anonymise it to provide a demographic analysis of those participating in this process, but you won’t be identifiable from any analysis. You can access the Student Association’s Privacy Policy here.

What does it cost?

The event is free of charge to attend. 

What if I can’t make it after all? 

We do understand that life can get in the way, so if you apply but something comes up and you can no longer attend, we’ll be able to offer your place to another student. 

I am not active in the Students Association; can I still go?

Students who are not currently involved in the OU Students Association are more than welcome to enter the ballot.

Who runs Conference? 

The Conference is run by the OU Students Association. It is a charity organisation run by students, for students. A number of elected representatives, volunteers and staff will be online to help facilitate and run the online event. They will introduce themselves in the special welcome forum.  

What is meant by Conference Business? 

Part of Conference will be dedicated to making decisions which will affect OU students. Before Conference, all the relevant information will be available online and you will have received a link, so that you can read at your leisure in preparation before Conference. Your Business booklets will be available online. You will need to familiarise yourself with the key issues you will be voting about and then tell us what you think.  

When do I vote? 

You’ll need to vote on the business of Conference which will enable you full access to the weekend activities. We are planning to hold the voting online in the lead-up to the event, with further details to be announced.

Do I have to take part all weekend?  

Yes please – we’d love you to join us for the full experience!

What if I don’t know anyone? 

The OU Students Association Conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow students, with around 500 students attending online from all over the world! Lots of our students say that attending Conference has helped them make long-lasting friendships.  

I don’t know anything about the OU Students Association or student politics – is it worth my while? (I’m worried everyone else knows all about it and it’s my first time) 

Not to worry if you are new to the OU Students Association. You certainly won’t be the only one. Our mission is to represent community and the voice of OU students. The Conference is an opportunity for you to have your say on a number of decisions that will impact OU students and also a chance to meet your fellow students and find out more about your University. Everyone starts somewhere! 

Is Conference suitable for my additional needs?  

If you have additional needs then please make a member of team aware, we will do our utmost to ensure that materials and resources are accessible, as well as supporting students when online events are taking place. 

Do you have more questions? No problem! 

Please email 

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The Open University Students Association exists to serve the interests of #OUstudents and ensure that the student voice is heard throughout the University. Find out more about what we do at

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