The Association Conversation Station is our new podcast, focusing (initially) on our 50th anniversary. We'll be celebrating this milestone by chatting to many notable figures from both the Association and The Open University itself – past and present.

You can listen to our episodes below – transcriptions are also available.

Episode 1: The relationship between the Association and The Open University

In this first episode, our President Sarah Jones chats to Dan Moloney (Director of Engagement at the Association) and Rachel Garnham from The Open University about the 50-year partnership between the Association and The Open University. It's a fascinating look at how we work together well, but still manage to maintain our independence from each other.

Episode 1 – transcription


Episode 2 – It's our 50th birthday!

This is an extra episode to mark our 50th birthday (the big day was on 16 May 2022). Our President Sarah Jones catches up with Chris Roworth (our former President), Sir John Daniel (former Vice-Chancellor of The Open University) and Rob Avann (the Association Chief Executive Officer) to celebrate the achievements of the last half-century, share some funny stories, and look ahead to the future.

Episode 2 – transcription


Episode 3 – A celebration of OU Pride and our LGBTQIA+ community

June is Pride Month, so we are celebrating all things Pride with this podcast, and how the Association has developed a wonderful space for the LGBTQIA+ community (particularly with its support group, OU Pride)! We will hear from Graham Rimmer, co-founder and first Chair of OU Pride (known at the time as PLEXUS), Alex Phennah, who is also a co-founder of OU Pride, and Lyndsay Thomson, current Chair of OU Pride.

Episode 3 – transcription


Episode 4 – 50 years of our Student Leadership Team

It’s been 50 years since the coming together of our first Student Leadership Team, known as the Central Executive Committee (or the CEC, for short), so this podcast looks at the work of the CEC, why it’s so important, and the difference it makes to our students. Sarah Jones chats to Fanni Zombor (current Vice President Engagement on the CEC), Billy Docherty (Honorary Life Member of the Association and former member of the CEC) and our very own Ellie Milnes-Smith (Volunteering and Representation Officer for the Association).

Episode 4 – transcription


Episode 5 – The Association's archive project

As you might imagine, since 1972, we have built up quite a bit of archive material, so this podcast looks at the Association’s archive project. This project has enabled us to catalogue and order our wonderful content to make it a true celebration of our first 50 years! Our host Georgia Demopoulou chats to Matthew Taylor (Digital Archivist of The Open University), Nicola Powell (the Association’s Senior Volunteering and Representation Officer) and one of our students, Patrick Johnson, who volunteered on the archive project.

Episode 5 – transcription


Episode 6 – Freshers!

The next few weeks will be big for us here as we welcome a new intake of Open University students, and welcome back our existing ones. 

As a result, we put on Freshers twice a year – a two-week programme of events, activities and chats (both face-to-face and online) to help new and returning OU students to learn more about the OU, to find out more about the Association and, most importantly of all, to connect with each other!

This podcast looks at Freshers and how important it is to the life of our students. You’ll hear from Nichola Connolly (one of our student leadership team), Pete Turner (our Head of Student Community) and Tracy Thompson (Chair of the Association’s Space Society).

Episode 6 – transcription


Episode 7 – Accessibility, student groups, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; how we support our diverse student community

This month, our host Verity Robinson (Head of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Student Welfare) talks about the Association's work in this area, and speaks to two members of our wonderfully diverse student community, Laura Cranstoun (Disabled Students Group) and Sristi Sengupta (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students Group) about their experience as part of the Students Association. Ciaragh Hubert (Director of Accessibility at The OU) also joins us to talk about the University's ongoing work in the accessibility arena, and how students can access support and get involved.

Episode 7 – transcription


Episode 8 – Men of the Association

As November marks International Men’s Day, for this latest episode, Emily Cox (from the Association’s Volunteering & Representation team) has been joined by our Deputy President, Gareth Jones, our Chair of Societies, Nigel Patterson, and our former Vice President Education, William Butler. They will tell us about how they are involved with the Association, their relationship with the Open University, and their experiences as an OU student.

Transcription to follow soon.