Open University Students Association
|Location||Milton Keynes, England|
The Open University Students Association is the equivalent of a students' union for the Open University, and is often referred to as OUSA. All Open University students are members of OUSA unless they elect to formally opt out.
As the Open University is a distance learning university, the Students Association does not have the scope to provide year-round bars, shops and other facilities to its members that other students unions do. However, it does provide an online shop which sells past Open University exam papers and branded merchandise. Most social interaction between students takes place online, or within the Association's Regions and Nations.
The Association usually has a presence at open days, graduation ceremonies and residential schools.
The Association is governed by a Board of Trustees and a Central Executive Committee. The Officers are elected by Conference with other members of the Executive elected regionally. (Section 22(9) of the Education Act 1994 exempts the Association from the usual requirement that this election is done by a secret ballot of all members).
The Association is organised into sixteen Nations, Regions and sub-regions:
- London Region
- South Region
- South West Region
- West Midlands Region
- East Midlands Region 
- East of England Region
- Yorkshire Region
- North West Region
- North Region
- Wales Nation
- Scotland Nation
- Northern Ireland Region
- South East Region
- Northern Europe Sub-Region
- Republic of Ireland Nation
- Southern Europe Sub-Region
Regions and Nations hold an annual general meeting whilst some also Opendays and/or other events, including training. Many have informal Groups which enable study groups and hold social events such as lunches, trips to the theatre and places of interest and other opportunities to meet fellow students.
Regions and Nations can send at least four newsletters to OUSA members in their area each year giving information on any news and events.
In addition, the Association publishes The OU Student, which is incorporated in the University's own newspaper, Sesame, now available mainly online. The latest edition of OU Student can be found on the OUSA Website.
The Association as a whole makes extensive use of online forums allowing members to socialise and discuss their studies on-line. Access to these forums is restricted, i.e. only available to students, staff and alumni.
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