Six reasons to be excited about Student Voice Week 2021

Student Voice Week runs Saturday 13 November - Sunday 21 November. Student representatives and Association staff explain why getting involved is worth the hype.

Student Voice Week 2021 is almost upon us. It’s an exciting nine-day programme of events where the Open University and the Students Association, in partnership host dozens of sessions in order to learn what is important to you – the students. 

1. “It’s a chance to take ownership of your student journey by making you voice heard.” – Ellie Milnes-Smith, Volunteering and Representation Officer at the OU Students Association  

As one of over 170,000 students, you might be wondering if your voice counts. It really does! When we provide opportunities like this to easily engage with the decision-making process, changes do happen.  

In the past, discussions at Student Voice Week have led to improvements on what the Students Association offers students, changes to module materials and the curriculum and we have built a community of over 600 students just last year. 

You might be interested in sessions such as “Getting the inside storyAccess and Open – Interdisciplinary Study, or “If you’re 25 and ignoring the inbox – we need your help.”

2. “We’re bringing the activities to you!”- Fanni Zombor, OU Students Association VP Engagement  

With over 80 events this year, and all of them online, there’s something for everyone. Take part from your sofa, bed, car, kitchen, or even the bath if you want to! It’s never been easier to take part in Student Voice Week. 

Fanni is running a Twitter Takeover on the OU in Scotland account on Monday November 15.

3. “It’s a great opportunity for your professional development.” – Andrew Evans, Digital Communications Optimisation Officer at the OU Students Association  

Being a student at the OU is about more than just studying. Throughout your student journey there are all sorts of opportunities for professional development. Getting involved in decisions made about the university can help you gain confidence and teach you skills needed to be successful in your chosen career path.  

You might be interested in sessions such as “10 Times Bolder”, “Postgraduate Research Student Voice: The awarding gap, or “using your extra-curricular activities to get started in the legal professions.

4. “We’re planning the Association’s celebrations for OU’s 50th birthday in 2022, and it’s your birthday too!” – Sarah Jones, OU Students Association President  

Who doesn’t love a party? Sarah Jones, our Students Association President, does. She wants to hear your ideas for how we should celebrate 50 years of the OU at the Students Association. Every OU student is an association member, so this is YOUR party.   

Make sure you register for Sarah’s session. 

5. “You can let us know if we’re doing something right or something wrong.” – Kate Wells, Area Association Representative for Continental Europe  

Student Voice Week isn’t just about your learning experiences and journey with the university itself. If you have ideas on how the Students Association can change for the better, we want to hear from you too. Should we change how we do something, or do we need to offer a new service? It’s your association and you call the shots.  

OU Students association events include “Students Association Annual Membership Survey results – a closer look”, “Open and Access – Listening to the Student Voice in hard-to-reach areas”, and “Students Association Governance”.  

6. “It’s not all about academia – there’s a good chance you’ll meet other OU students and make some friends!” – Hannah Silk, Area Association Representative for Wales  

Student Voice Week has been running since 2017 and in that time, many students have made lasting friendships through their courses and the Students Association. Distance learning doesn’t have to be lonely when you have an amazing community behind you and so many events to choose from.  

You might be interested in sessions such as “Mentors and Ambassadors for displaced learners and teachers at the OU, “Coffee Morning for Psychology and Counselling Students, or “Why we became a Student Voice Ambassador or a Peer Coach: And how this might be an encouragement to you“. 

There are still events being released and more details being added to the timetable, so check back for regular updates.

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