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Your Voice in Our Future

Find out more about how your voice makes a difference

Your voice in our future

We are committed to delivering our mission of being open to people, places, methods and ideas and our aim is to reach more students with life-changing learning experiences.

We know that no-one understands the student experience better than you and we want to give every student the opportunity to have a say about changes we make in our future.

We are looking at how we can improve your student experience and we want to help more of our students to achieve their desired qualification. We are exploring a range of initiatives to do this and we will also be investing in our IT systems.

This area of the website aims to provide you with Student Voice news from across The Open University, including changes that have taken place as a result of student feedback – see our You Said, We Did page for more details.

News and latest updates

So...what is Student Voice?

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Want to find out more about what Student Voice is and how you can get involved?

Student Hub Live are hosting the OU-wide (re)Freshers Orientation on 28 September 2020.

You will be able to hear from and ask questions to the staff and students that know it best and are committed to ensuring your voices are heard. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to engage with other students as you set out on your student journey.

Involving students in peer-mentoring

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In 2019 Law School academics were researching student wellbeing and as part of this carried out interviews and focus groups with law and business students. They told us that distance learning can sometimes be an isolating and lonely experience. As part of that research we were asked ‘why does the Law School not provide a peer mentoring scheme?’. We thought this was a great question which led to us implementing a pilot peer mentoring scheme.

OU Students Association Conference 2020!

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There is a brilliant programme of sessions lined up for OU Students Association Conference this weekend. With many interesting speakers including an exclusive Q & A; There will also be student consultations, lots of fun workshops and many opportunities to socialise.

OU Students Association representative opportunities!

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The Student Association is currently seeking student volunteers for our exciting volunteering opportunities to get your student's voice heard within the Open University as a Central Committee Representative and a member of the Senate Reference Group.

Opportunity to influence policy and decision-making

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The Office for Students, which is the regulator for Higher Education in England, is inviting students to apply to be members of their Student Panel. This is a great opportunity for Open University students, who can sometimes be forgotten when the focus is on students at ‘traditional’ universities.

Engaging students in peer-coaching

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Staff and students have been collaborating to drive a peer-supported approach to promoting and developing self-reflection and skills related to personal development planning (PDP). PDP is part of the guidance from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (HE), so that all university students have opportunities to reflect on their learning and achievement as well as to plan for their personal, educational and career development.

Access Participation and Success Strategy

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The Open University is committed to removing inequalities in access participation and success in Higher Education. Our Access, Participation and Success Strategy was launched in September 2019 following consultation in March 2019 which included input from students.

Student Consultative Meetings 2020

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The annual Student Consultative Meetings included topics on Tuition and Student Communications with over 260 students taking part. This includes a combination of face-to-face and online events. Read more here...

Student Voice enhances the quality of OU curriculum

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Every six years a Periodic Quality Review (PQR) of each curriculum area at The Open University is carried out. Here, a student shares their experience of being a full panel member and explains how Student Voice is incredibly important throughout the PQR process, informing every decision that gets made.

National Students Survey - have your say

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The NSS is an annual UK-wide survey for students usually nearing their final year of undergraduate study and the 2020 survey is now OPEN.

Listening to students on extentions

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At times we appreciate events can arise which mean you can struggle to submit your assignment on time. In April 2019 we looked at a variety of feedback that had been received from various groups in the University expressing concern about the policy and practice of the extension process

OU graduate to OU employee

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It’s not easy studying as a distance learner and maintaining an altogether different level of commitment. So, I am incredibly proud of my achievements at The Open University (OU).Since graduating, I’ve actually joined the OU as an intern, working as part of the Student Voice team in The Office of the PVC (Students). .

Student Voice Week 18-24 November 2019

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Due to popular demand, The Students Association, in partnership with The Open University is running #OUstudentVoice week again. Over the course of the week, there will be a host of activities for students to take part in such as, workshops and online forums.

National Students Survey 2019: How have we improved?

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The results of the annual National Student Survey (NSS) have been published with The Open University ranked first for Assessment and Feedback with a score of 85%.

Curriculum Design Student Panel wins award

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The curriculum design student panel has received national recognition for its innovative and sustained use of the student voice to inform the design of distance learning.

Jisc CAN Conference:OU Students take the lead

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The Jisc Change Agents’ Network (CAN) is a network of people in both the higher and further education sectors dedicated to promoting student-staff partnership. A key feature of the CAN annual conference is that all presentations and workshops are led or co-presented by students, and that students take an active role in the organisation and running of the events, including hosting the student panel session.

National Students Survey 2018: What you have told us

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NSS is an annual survey of students in their final year of study, at the OU this means students who have completed at least three years of study and achieved at least 120 credits. It is run by the Office for Students, who regulate higher education on behalf of students.

Message from Acting Vice-Chancellor: Review of change at the OU

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We have previously shared information with you about a programme called Students First Transformation. This programme was designed to help us make efficiencies to our operations and to invest in the student experience.

Message from Acting Vice-Chancellor: July update from The Open University about our curriculum review

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Last month, I wrote to you to let you know that the first set of proposed changes to our curriculum were approved at our governance committee meetings in May. Since then, the committees have met again and approved the majority of the remaining proposed changes.

Message from Acting Vice-Chancellor: Further update from The Open University about our curriculum review

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In May, I wrote to you to give you an update about our Curriculum Review process. As I explained in my last message, all universities regularly review their curriculum and we have undertaken a larger than usual university-wide review this year. The aim has been to introduce new options for students while removing areas of study that have proved to be less popular. Our governance committees have now met and some proposals have been approved, with a number of further changes to be considered at the end of June.

Message from Acting Vice-Chancellor: Update from The Open University about our curriculum review

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I wanted to update you on the Curriculum Review process we are undergoing; to clarify the next steps and to reassure you of our continuing commitment to supporting a wide array of subjects and minimising any impact on your study.