In November we ran, in partnership with the university, the first virtual Student Voice week. At the Association, our by-election wrapped up at the start of the month and we welcomed 8 new members to our leadership team as well as a new student Trustee.
Throughout the month we had the opportunity to be influencing a lot of OU discussions. We were involved in getting agreement for an international help page and have influenced the creation of a multiple modules help page as well. Our new Council member and President attended Council, to bring students voices to the highest level of the University. Gareth had the opportunity to attend an external meeting for Higher Education Funding Council Wales, to ensure distance learners are considered across the nations. We also were involved in recruiting staff tutors for the WELS faculty, to ensure tutors managers understand the wide needs of OU students.
On various OU committees, we had the chance to be involved in actioning consultation feedback that happened from as far back as 2017 in relation to student communities, improving support for students who fail of postpone an exam and in better allocation of additional funding for Mental Health Support in Wales and Scotland. We are also involved in updating the Assessment guidance and Assessment Handbook for students considering the pandemic.
At the Association, we are pushing forward with our strategy projects and started planning the February Freshers event. To strengthen our voice across OU governance committees, we have just concluded a second round of Central Committee rep and Sentate Reference Group member recruitment to fill in any gaps and ensure we have a wide range of reps with different experiences. The Association has responded to the Office for Students consultation on the National Students Survey in multiple ways, as we have had concerns over the relevance of it to our students for years, now was a good opportunity to ensure distance learner voice is heard in the English regulatory body.
Vice President Engagement
(posted on behalf of the Central Executive Committee)