Hello/Shwmae, I’m Hanna. I’m a volunteer at the Open University Students Association (OUSA) and my role is Association Area Representative for Wales (AAR for Wales).
So far, I have completed two out of three years of postgraduate study with the OU (Masters in Education – Applied Linguistics). Whilst returning to study has been challenging at times, particularly with Lockdown, the OU learning format has been brilliant. At the start of my course, I was really nervous, but my self-confidence and love of learning has gradually returned over time.
It was only during the end of my second year of study that I started to get more involved with the Association and I applied for my current role in August this year. I am still on a steep learning curve but I have had brilliant support and training as well as making some great friends along the way. I wish that I had made this connection earlier on in my studies as it would have made my overall OU experience even better.
One of the key aspects of my role is to ensure that the views of students in Wales continue to be heard effectively and fairly. The only way I can do this successfully is if we can continue to build up our Students in Wales community and talk about the things that matter to us (while having some fun along the way!)
This is why Student Voice Week is so important – it highlights the importance of having your voice heard and is an opportunity to discover the ways in which you can get involved in OU decision making. If you have ideas or questions already, brilliant! If not, it doesn’t matter, the important thing is to be involved and to find out more about what is going on. As you connect with others and discover more about the OU and the Association you will find things that are particularly interesting or important to you.
How to Get Involved
Student Voice Week takes place online between Saturday 13th November and Sunday 21st November with a range of activities and events for all students. Keep an eye on the Association and Student Voice website and sign up for the newsletter for updates.
Students in Wales have a regular online meet-up on the third Wednesday of the month, 8-9pm. The next online meet-up is on 20th October. Our November meet-up on the 17th November takes place during Student Voice Week and will be a Student Voice Special. There will be opportunities to share your views before, during and after the meet-up through a range of activities. It is important that you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and there is no expectation to use your camera or mic if you prefer not to but please feel free contribute to the discussions and join us if you can!
One of my main objectives this year is to build up the Students in Wales community generally but also to establish regional groups in readiness for face-to-face meet-ups when they can take place again. An important aspect of this is to ensure that Welsh-speaking students are represented fairly. As a start, I am keen to hear from Welsh-speaking students who are interested in establishing a Welsh-speaking group to socialise and to plan future events.
Training will be available soon to become an online meet-up host, please get in touch if you are interested or would like more information. How about writing something for The Hoot?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Keep in touch:
Sign up to the Students in Wales newsletter
My email (firstname.lastname@example.org)