Launching a volunteer pathway for student representatives

The volunteer pathway consists of an OpenLearn module to fully prepare you for applying for one of our important volunteer rep roles

We are pleased and proud to launch the Association’s first volunteer pathway to volunteering! This pilot project will lead you as a potential volunteer rep along a journey of discovery to find out more about the roles of Central Committee Representative, Senate Reference Group member and Student Experience Link before deciding to put in an application.  

The volunteer pathway consists of an OpenLearn module packed full of useful recordings, presentations, live online sessions, top tips and quizzes that’ll fully prepare you for applying for one of our important volunteer rep roles.

These roles are so important to students, as reps have an opportunity to interact and influence at the very highest levels of governance at the OU. Our reps represent OU students on committees and Boards of Studies in all faculties, and can have a positive effect on current learning as well as for students in the future.


Here’s a brief resume of the pilot volunteer pathway:

Introduction – if you’re new to us, we have a pre-recorded presentation as an introduction to the Association. You can find out lots about us from our website, but a guided tour through all things Association with Volunteer and Representation team members Beth, Allan and Ellie will be just like starting the journey with friends 😊

As this first volunteer pathway is focused on becoming a rep, we then go into Understanding meetings and Governance at the OU. This session includes a forum for you to interact with other students on the pathway.

We then have a live 1-hour session to meet the reps! This will be a fantastic opportunity to talk to current reps, all of whom were once in your shoes (new and excited, but unsure!) and now sit on a range of committees and groups sharing the student experience with the University.

How to write a good application – during this 1-hour recorded session, we will share hints and tips for putting in a good application – something which will support your application for this role – as well as any other roles you are interested in.

Influencing and negotiation is a useful skill when sitting on committees, and we are pleased to welcome Tom Bulman of the influential community alliance Citizens:mk who will talk us through positively using our powers of persuasion for the good of all students.

The volunteer pathway will help in preparing you for applying for any representation role by providing key information, introducing you to what the role entails before you decide to put in an application, and, importantly, giving you tips for putting in an application that will get you to your goal. And if you change your mind and decide not to apply in 2021, you’ll have picked up some great transferable skills to help in the future!

Register for the volunteer pathway here.

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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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