We want our students to have their say within the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport (ECYS). That’s why in 2020 we created the ECYS Student Voice and Wellbeing Group – a partnership between Open University staff and students that empowers students to share their thoughts and action change. This co-creation is at the heart of the partnership.
Inclusivity is fundamental and a number of students from traditionally under-represented groups in Higher Education are Ambassadors for the group. They take a hands-on approach, from staff recruitment to digital wellbeing packs. In 2022, they won a WELS Teaching Excellence Award for their work.
Promoting wellbeing is key, so the group’s work strives to include the five ways to wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, learn and give. This approach follows our School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda, as well as the OU Staff and Student Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy.
But the group’s ambitions go beyond our School, and work is shared across the OU and with other Universities and organisations. Its scholarship projects are evaluating the impact of the various activities of the group upon student mental health and wellbeing, attachment to the University, development of employability skills, student retention and progression and student success. Digital badges are also being developed for Ambassadors and other students involved in similar activities, to acknowledge and value their contribution.
For further information about the work of the group, please contact WELS-ECYS-ADMIN@open.ac.uk and include FAO ECYS Student Voice and Wellbeing group.