Student study event news - The Open College of the Arts
Explore #WeAreOCA
Skip Navigation

Student study event news

As many of you are aware the OCA has previously provided funds for study visits and more recently a small budget to OCASA for student initiated events and activities. For some time now there has been a view that as the number of student initiated activities have increased the focus of funding should be reviewed. Following a review earlier this year it was agreed the funds provided to OCASA would be substantially increased to encourage both a wider distribution of funds to students and to encourage a diversification in the types of activities available to students. In taking this approach we believe a greater number of students will benefit from a wider range of activities that will both improve the opportunities for student networking and significantly aid their studies with the OCA. We therefore see this approach as very good news for students.
A significant percentage of the funds will still be available for tutor led study visits but inevitably there will be less of these than in previous years. In their place we hope to encourage the following types of activities:

  • Student led study visits
  • Curator and/or artists talks (in person and/or videoed)
  • Regular study group meetings
  • Workshops
  • Summer or weekend schools
  • Portfolio review events
  • Google Hangouts
  • Student networking events especially in more remote areas
  • Student led creative projects

In the last academic year OCASA funds supported three regional multi-disciplined regular study group meetings, two Music workshops, a number of Creative Writing events along with two sketch book workshops. With greater funds available in the next academic year we will be looking to expand the variety of and access to these types of events to as many students and disciplines as possible. We will be in the first year of the extended OCASA budget and so this is a chance to develop our approach to these activities with your direct input via your OCASA representatives and the OCA course support advisers –
Information on upcoming exhibitions is currently available at:

  • Study visit diary –  For upcoming tutor led study visits – this will be updated again in December)
  • What’s on in 2017 in major UK galleries – Again this will be updated in December for 2018.
  • Information on global events over the next 8 days can be found here.

All events will be advertised on WeAreOCA 4 to 6 weeks from the event date as with existing study visit information.
Information on the OCASA approach to funding can be found here and your OCASA representatives can be found here. Write-ups from previously funded events can be found here. Student’s wishing to put forward a proposal can complete the following form here, which will also be available on the OCASA page.
These are exciting times for OCASA and represent a real opportunity for all OCA students to get involved and I am sure that you will want to propose ideas for activities to your OCASA reps.
Teresa Lanham, President of OCASA

Posted by author: Teresa Lanham
Share this post:

4 thoughts on “Student study event news

  • This is certainly a big change and let’s hope that students will make the most of it. Does it mean though that OCASA committee and students will be doing all the organisation and admin for these activities?

    • Hi Catherine
      It is a big change and reflects the confidence the college has in OCASA to handle a much enhanced budget and to know better than us what students want from networking events. Effectively it means the OCASA President and committee become the final arbiters of what gets funded rather than the Principal. In terms of organisation there is little change. Joanne in Course Support will retain the responsibility for bookings and publicity and OCA finance colleagues will be responsible for making sure the right people get paid.

  • Whilst I don’t doubt the virtue of supporting student led activities and the value of them I am concerned that we don’t lose the OCA study visits currently on offer. As students engaged in distance learning we are located all over the world and even in the UK can be geographically remote from peers. I have always found study visits and workshops very useful, not least in meeting fellow students. Like many other students I am juggling studies with employment, home and family and really have very little additional time to organise the sorts of activities that seem to be envisaged. I am concerned that unless we can benefit from an already established local student group we may lose out.

    • Hi Tanya many thanks for your comments. The intention is to retain a level of tutor led study visits as well as encourage visits led by students and that all of these would be advertised via WeAreOCA to the same lead times and processes as now. One of the advantages of increasing how study visits are instigated is in enabling students to attend study visits or events at a time that suits them rather than on the one day a tutor is available. I would still expect a large number of study visits to be posted on WeAreOCA.
      Local study groups undoubtedly do help where they exist but it is the on-line Discussion Groups and Facebook Groups where most of the student led visits first get mooted and I would expect this to continue so I wouldn’t expect you to miss out because you are not part of a local group.
      As you quite rightly say not everyone can be in a local study group and not everyone has the time to organise visits. What I would say is that we have a well used process for arranging study visits and events, students who do have the time to get involved and it already happens in a number of study disciplines where it works well. The changes are a great opportunity to put the instigation of events into students hands but clearly not all students can or want to be involved in creating and leading them.
      We are aware of the difficulties involved in on-line studying and how this can be difficult to overcome and we think these changes in funding and approach will help. We will be regularly reviewing how the new approach is working through the next academic year and will also be looking to fine tune the processes as we develop. I would encourage you to contact your OCASA representative or alternatively I am very happy to talk to you further about the changes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to blog listings