Our mission

We’re on a mission to make a positive difference for all OU students. This is a mission we believe in and that we use to make all of our decisions.

Our vision

To support, encourage and empower OU students by:

  • Offering students the support services that they need.
  • Creating opportunities for students to engage in a vibrant and inclusive student community.
  • Being a strong, effective and accountable representative body.
  • Working in partnership with the OU to enhance all aspects of the student experience.

Our values

Our values and behaviour support this mission. Our values are important because they underpin our commitments and decision-making. They are crucial in creating a positive space to engage with our members to ensure that, together, we’re achieving our charitable objectives. They represent what we value and who we are.

Our values bring us together as a team, because everyone is in this together. They drive how we interact with others, and establish what we expect of one another. They make the student community one which every single OU student can engage with, and where they can feel at home.

We celebrate our differences. We understand that we will never all agree. Some conversations are hard, but they need to be had. So long as we share our individual perspectives respectfully and with acknowledgement for other's hardships, journeys and barriers, there is always something we can learn from one another. 

We are all involved because we’re driven to make a difference. To make this work, we must live our values and be aware of our behaviours (how we act). How we behave not only paves the way for how we interact together, and how we make each other feel, but it shows others what is expected in our spaces and how we treat one another. 

By ensuring we all understand these expectations, we can operate harmoniously and achieve more. Together. Whether we are elected, selected, appointed, paid or just coming along for the laughs: we’re passionate about improving the future of the OU and Association for others. The behaviours we expect from one another are: 

  • To be honest and respectful in all our interactions
  • To build and nurture personal connections
  • To seek and value others contributions
  • To consider others, and model kindness through all interactions

We work together. We genuinely care about each other, offering compassion and safety. Our best ideas, projects and events are born from truly listening to one another. We reflect equality and inclusivity at all times, and work collaboratively with integrity, openness, kindness and compassion.


We will stay true to our vision; we will uphold the founding mission of the Open University and we will maintain an independent and fair representation of the student voice.

What does this look like? This means we stay true to our vision and are honest and respectful in all our interactions. We will hold ourselves and each other to account, while assuming the best intentions.

Equality and inclusivity

We are committed to equality of opportunity for all in an inclusive and diverse student community that values, respects and celebrates difference.

What does this look like? We are self-aware and are always seeking to understand our differences. We take time to learn, building and nurturing personal connections.


We believe in open, transparent and accessible democratic structures that are led by students and welcome new people and new ideas.

What does this look like? We work together to proactively share information and celebrate each other’s successes. We make it easy to engage with one another, especially with regard to new voices.


We seek to build inspirational relationships and partnerships based on mutual trust, respect and shared goals.

What does this look like? We seek contributions from others, recognising the impact collaboration can have and valuing their input. We are open minded, empower new voices and practise active listening.

Kindness and compassion

We nurture a culture of support and inclusion, practising positive intent and seeking to identify the best in each other.

What does this look like? We take time to consider others, and model kindness through all our interactions. This includes being kind to ourselves by being mindful of our wellbeing and encouraging others to do the same for themselves.

Find out more in our Values and Behaviour Policy below.

Values and Behaviour Policy