On Thursday 18 November 2021, The Open University and Open University Students Association were delighted to be joined by students for a highlight of Student Voice Week 2021 – our question and answer session with Vice-Chancellor Tim Blackman and other members of his senior team: Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students) Liz Marr, Executive Deans Fary Cachelin and Nick Braithwaite, Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Marcia Wilson and Director of Academic Services Rebecca Galley.
Expertly chaired by Students Association Vice President Fanni Zombor, questions covered a huge range of topics. Prof Blackman talked about the University’s social mission, and the important role it can play post-pandemic as well as highlighting the value of an OU degree. Prof Cachelin outlined how the University is ensuring the highest possible standards of teaching and learning, despite the challenges of the pandemic and an increase in student numbers.
Prof Wilson talked about the University’s work to create a more inclusive curriculum and responded positively to a question about a question about supporting a University of Sanctuary application, while Dr Marr responded to a question about whether the OU was planning to go to an online only model – to which the answer was no, with Dr Marr expanding on the OU’s approach to teaching. Sarah Jones, President of the Students Association outlined how students’ views are represented to the University and her priority of ensuring students’ voices are heard.
Prof Braithwaite outlined the University’s approach to sustainability, which is very high on the agenda, noting discussions at the recent COP26 conference, while other questions covered TMA extensions, research degrees and module sizes.
It was great to hear from students the questions that were most important, and at the end of the event there was positive feedback from staff and students involved. The senior team welcomed hearing directly from students and encouraged others to take part in the remaining events of Student Voice Week.
At home / Milton Keynes
At home / online