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Changes to policy and curriculum

The Open University (OU) and The Open University Students Association Relationship Agreement (August 2019 amendment)

Warning: the content within this page reflects the information available to students in the 2019/20 academic year. As such, this information may no longer be factually accurate.

In August 2019 a number of changes were implemented to The Open University (OU) and The Open University Students Association Relationship Agreement. These changes potentially affect all students.

The changes made

  1. Amendment to the first paragraph, whereby the excerpt "there shall be an organisation of students of the University whose constitution, powers and funding shall be prescribed by Ordinance" is now credited as being from Clause 18 of the Open University's Charter rather than Clause 19
  2. Addition to first paragraph to state that "Following incorporation on 1 August 2019, the OU Students Association’s governing document is its Articles of Association, which have taken the place of its constitution."
  3. Clarification that The University will work together to support the Student Association's objectives for the advancement of OU students' education by defending the principles of equal opportunity and of open access to the OU regardless of prior academic qualifications or financial circumstances
  4. Addition of the explanation that "The Charter and Ordinance still refer to a constitution and will, at an appropriate time, require updating. Articles of Association were approved by the Council of The Open University in March 2019."
  5. Explanation that "Student Charter references here and throughout the document refer to the Student Charter agreed by the University’s Senate in June 2019. This is liable to change in June 2020 as an outcome from a significant review of the Student Charter taking place in 2019/20"
  6. Amendment to the section 'Promotion of OU Students Association' whereby the term 'students association' has been replaced with 'representative body for its students'
  7. Amendment to reflect that the details of how the OU Students Association communicates with its members are covered within the Student Data Sharing Agreement between the OU and the Association.
  8. 'The OU Students Associate Constitution' is now termed the 'The OU Student Association Articles of Association'
  9. Clarification that details of any resources which maybe provided by the OU to the Association in kind or without charge, for example, office and meeting accommodation, telephone and IT systems, technical and human resources support are set out in the shared services and the Licence to Occupy agreements between the OU and the Association.
  10. Amendment to clarify that all student members of OU Committees will be entitled to claim reasonable expenses for attendance.
  11. Addition of a section about the sharing of academic governance and Boards of Studies papers
  12. Addition to a section on the right of members to attend committees remotely or in person stating that it is not the intention of either partner that Student Members should be required to attend remotely instead of face-to-face
  13. Amendment to the Student Charter commitment from "We consult with members, encourage – and remove barriers to –participation and welcome constructive feedback to enhance the student experience." to "We consult with each other, encourage participation and welcome constructive feedback to enhance the student experience."
  14. Clarification that the Student Consultation Management Group is a partnership between the University and the Association
  15. Amendment to reflect that the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) now co-chairs the Student Voice Steering Group rather than the University's Director of Strategy
  16. Amendment to reflect that the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) has replaced the University's Director of Strategy as a senior representative of the University
  17. Major amendments to the section 'Working together' to reflect the right of members to attend committees remotely
  18. Addition to state that "Student representatives will be included on all senior executive appointment panels as standard."
  19. Amendment to reflect that The Students Association Annual Report to Council will be published on the Association’s website, but may not be announced on StudentHome
  20. Amendment to reflect that a formal statement will be included by the Chief Executive and President of the Students Association (previously the General Manager) to state that any elections held during the period covered by the report have been conducted fairly and in accordance with the requirements of the Students Association
  21. Major amendments to Appendix 2: the section now covers all partnership commitments for the 2020/21 academic year.

Please talk to your Student Support Team if you need any further information. You can find out how to contact them on Contact the OU.