Student Leadership By-elections

The October by-elections are almost here! We explain what they are and why you should get involved.

Every two years the Students Association holds the Student Leadership and Board of Trustee elections. During this time, OU students elect a new Student Leadership team who will represent students and influence all levels of decision-making within The Open University for a two-year period. The Student Leadership team exists to promote your interests and to ensure the OU is more than just a place of learning – it’s a student community. Catch up on everything elections in this handy article.  

If any positions are unfilled after the elections, the Students Association runs a by-election to find officers to fill the vacant positions within the Student Leadership team. If you are thinking about standing for a position in these elections, this is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the running of the Students Association and to have your say on how we operate to improve the student journey. Not to mention the experience of being a student leader is a fantastic opportunity to enhance your employability skills. 

There are six vacant roles in the October by-elections. Elected officers will be in position for a two year term.

Roles available: 

Faculty Representative Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)

The STEM Representative has the primary responsibility for ensuring students studying within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths faculty are represented regarding all areas of the student experience.

Faculty Representative Arts and Social Sciences 

The FASS Representative has the primary responsibility for ensuring students studying within faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are represented regarding all areas of the student experience.

Faculty Representative Open and Access 

The Open and Access Representative has the primary responsibility for ensuring representation of Association members on Open and Access programmes regarding matters that are specific to these programmes. Module-specific concerns for Open degree students are dealt with by the appropriate Faculty (FASS, STEM, FBL or WELS) FAR.

Vice President Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 

The Vice President (VP) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) has the responsibility for ensuring the Association fulfils its commitments to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in accordance with relevant legislation and policy. They also monitor the University’s performance on EDI, and is the Association’s point of contact for EDI issues.

Student Member of Council

The Student Member of Council has primary responsibility for supporting the University’s Council, which is the governing body of the University, exercising control of University affairs including strategic planning, monitoring effectiveness and performance, finance, audit, estate management and human resource management. They are a member of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) to ensure that both the Council and CEC are aware of issues impacting both the University, Students and Association.

Student Trustee 

As a member of the Board of Trustees, you have the ultimate legal responsibility for the Association’s affairs, and the board exercises its powers subject to relevant legislation in addition to our Articles of Association and Bye-Laws. This includes oversight of the governance, staffing, finances and strategy of the Association.

How to apply 

Nominations open on Tuesday 11 October and you have until Tuesday 25 October to submit your application. Nominating yourself is easy, you can submit your form via the Students Association website once nominations have opened. Watch this short explainer video to see how the process works. Remember, any current OU student can nominate themselves for a role in the elections. 

So far this year, our newly elected Student Leadership team have been taking great strides towards improving the OU student experience. If you have great ideas to contribute, a passion for leadership and would like to gain invaluable experience that looks great on your CV, then apply for a role in the 2022 by-elections. 


If standing for a role in the student by-elections isn’t for you, don’t worry. You can still have your say by voting for the candidates. Voting is important and is a quick and easy way to influence the future of the Association. Candidates will be announced on Tuesday 1 November via our website. Voting opens on Tuesday 8 November, you have until Monday 21 November to cast your vote.

Whether you are new to the OU or a returning student, the October by-elections will impact your student journey, so be sure to get involved!

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Hannah Prue


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