OU Students Association Tutor Awards

Association Deputy President, Gareth Jones, looks back at last year's Tutor Awards and what they mean.

We’d love you to sign up and come along to this year’s Freshers Fair and Tutor Awards ceremony by visiting our Events page.

In 2022, the OU Students Association launched its annual Tutor Awards initiative as a way for students to recognise the positive difference tutors have made to their experience when studying with The Open University. In an environment where it is easier to criticise than compliment, the Association felt it was important to provide a platform that acknowledges the important relationship between the student and their tutor, who is very often the only person that students will engage with at the University on a regular basis.

After being created at short notice, the 2022 Tutor Awards saw 175 students nominating their tutors. In the 2023 Tutor Awards, we saw an increase of 421% in nominations, taking us to a total of 738 nominations being received. As part of the initiatives, students are also invited to be part of the judging panels and nearly 50% of those who submitted nominations volunteered to take part.  

Tutor receiving their award at the ceremony in 2022. 

When nominating their tutor, students are asked to consider whether a tutor they have engaged with in the last 18 months has gone above and beyond in supporting them whilst studying with The Open University. This is not limited to academic support, and we often see nominations citing the personal or pastoral support that the tutor has given them. This demonstrates the impact that tutors can have on different areas of a student’s life, providing support to help them through both their studies and day-to-day life.

Judging who should be a winner and runner-up out of each of the four faculties was a very difficult job for the judging panels, but we want to share with you the four winning nominations from the 2023 Tutor Awards:

My tutor has worked tirelessly, challenging me to push on to a higher level. I have not only become a better student but am more confident as a person. My tutor supported me when I suffered a bereavement in the family. I truly believe she deserves some recognition for all of her hard work.

My tutor is a very high-calibre, talented scholar and teacher. The feedback I receive is thoughtful, detailed and respectful. My tutor is a role model for other university professors. He has been there to support me through some personal challenges, and genuinely embraces the OU mission. He has made me feel like I truly belong to the OU.

Despite my personal challenges, my tutor has been kind, empathetic and patient. They are always available to help. They made me realise that everyone struggles with something, and that’s ok!

My tutor is the most supportive tutor I have had in four years of studying with the OU. I have grown academically, as they help to scaffold my learning. I cannot speak highly enough of their communication, always replying promptly. He is encouraging and a generally lovely human.

Tutor receiving their award at the ceremony in 2022.

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Gareth Jones


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