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Student Voice Newsletter January 2024

There's lots of exciting opportunities to get involved with:

• Student Voice Festival

• Disabled Student Advisory Group

• Student Consultation Online Forums: January

• We're Golden

• Student Charter Value of the Month: January

Student Voice Festival - 24 February - 9 March

The Open University is committed to making the student experience the very best it can be. But we can’t do this without hearing from students just like you – it’s time to have your say at our 15 day Student Voice Festival!

Join us at the Festival to meet other OU students, share your thoughts and experiences on topics ranging from cost of living, sustainability, mental health and wellbeing, to tuition, and get inspired by the positive changes student feedback has made to the university so far. There will also be community sessions such as coffee morning and bingo, so you can get to know your fellow students even better. Additionally, there will be an opportuntiy to come to face-to-face sessions across the 16 days, with sessions running in Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester and London.

Look out for an email later this week for the launch of Student Voice Festival!

Disabled Student Advisory Group

This new advisory group for the sector (not specific to the OU) will draw together disabled students from different levels of study and programme types, to provide lived experience and insight into shaping the direction of disabled student support in higher education and the implementation of the Disabled Student Commitment.

This exciting opportunity will allow 15 selected disabled students to contribute and shape how institutions and the HE sector embed the principles with the commitment and attend meetings with key sector bodies and HE providers.

Professional development opportunities such as attending events or speaking at conferences, will also be offered.

You will be remunerated for your time and attendance at key meetings. Support for your disability will also be in place to facilitate engagement and participation.

If you would like to take part, please share, in no more than 250 words, why you would like to be part of this group and the skills, qualities and experience that would make you a suitable member. To ensure inclusivity, applications are accepted in a range of formats e.g. written format, audio or visual format e.g. a pre-recorded video.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 31 January at 4 pm.

Please send your application to Dr Anne Rowan at and it is anticipated that someone will get back to you to discuss the role and learn a bit more about you.

More information about the role is available from entitled "The Disabled Student Commitment Student Group Guidance".

Student Consultation Online Forums - January/February

In Januar/February, we will be running two Student Consultation Online Forums that you can get involved with:

• Early Student Experience - 5 Februrary

Thanks to all who participated in the Early Student Experience forum. There will be a Teams meeting on Monday 5 February, 6.30pm to further discuss the Early Student Experience Survey. Even if you weren't able to join in on the forum, you'll still be welcome at the meeting. To view the forum and to sign up to the Teams meeting, please see the forum webpage.

• Fitness to Practise Policy- 24 January - 7 February

Fitness to practise describes your ability to meet professional standards. Roles in the professions covered by this procedure are challenging and entail a high degree of responsibility as well as requiring the ability to work safely with individuals and groups in vulnerable situations.

We have reviewed the Fitness to Practise Procedure this year with the aim of making it much easier to read and understand. Although you will review the latest version, effective December 2023, we want to understand your thoughts and receive your ideas to improve on this. We will use your feedback to create objectives for our next review of this policy.

If you are studying on a Qualification that the Fitness to Practise Policy applies too, you would have had an email from us on the 24 January, so please check back to that email if you wish to join the forum.

We're Golden

In September, we were proud to receive an overall Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. The Framework measures how well students are taught across UK universities.Gold ratings are awarded to universities that can consistently deliver outstanding teaching and learning outcomes for their students. We are incredibly proud that The Open University is the leader in distance learning educating people across all four nations of the UK and across the world. We’re not resting on our laurels though, our Teaching and Learning Plan sets out how we aim to continue to innovate and improve the learning experience for our students now and in the future. We strive to ensure that every student who studies with us has access to the best possible teaching and learning opportunities. We want every one of our students to be successful in their studies and go on to achieve their life and career goals. Find out more on the OU Teaching and Learning Plan webpage.

Student Charter Value of the Month: January

The Student Charter, which was jointly developed by the University and OU Students Association, sets out a declaration of shared values for all within the OU community. It sets out expectations of students and staff, and how we all work together. As a new year begins, we are launching our Student Charter Value of the Month campaign!

Student Charter Value of the Month: January The Value of the Month is Value 6: Value 6: We actively support authentic student engagement in University decision-making, closing the feedback loop; and commit to building partnership between staff and students. For this value we have a case study to help guide your knowledge and understanding of how the Open Uni is committed to this value. You can read the Student Charter Value of the Month: January Case Study here.