The devolvement of funding for study activities from OCA to OCASA is viewed by OCASA as a very positive change for both improving the student experience and also the visibility and perceived role/purpose of the OCASA committee and representatives. It will encourage student involvement in a broader range of activities, backed up with significantly more funds than we have had available to us up until now. OCASA believes that this change will widen opportunities for student led activities and projects to improve the learning experience, particularly for those who live further away from the core area, and for those whose needs are different. We also believe that the networking opportunities that student led study events provide can help new students find their feet and to enable groups to emerge which may act as mentoring, collaboration and feedback channels long after students have finished their courses. However, greater funds and more activities will bring a step change to the way the OCASA committee functions and new funding means new processes, which are outlined below.
As of 1 August 2017, OCASA will receive 1% of OCA student revenue annually from OCA. In addition, there is income from the sale of NUS cards, and any funding brought forward from previous years. For 2017-18, the total figure available for study visits will be in the region of £18,000, which is a significant increase on previous years. This funding will be split on a proportional basis to the different subject pathways, i.e. the percentage of students following each pathway as a proportion of the whole student population.There will be two main funding streams. As in previous years, a proportion of available funds (20% initially) will be held for events requested and led by tutors. The procedures for this funding stream are outlined in Section A. The remaining 80% of funds will be split proportionately by subject, and will be held by OCASA on behalf of the subject representatives.
Events will only be part funded. Students who attend are expected to make an agreed personal contribution, except by special arrangement.
- All funded events should be advertised on the weareoca.com study visits page 4-6 weeks beforehand. This is to ensure that as many students as possible see them.
- Wherever possible, 1/3 of spaces should be allocated to students who have not attended an OCA study event before.
- Blog write-ups are required for all funded events. These will be published on the OCASA website for students who were unable to attend.
OCASA is open to requests for part funding for a variety of types of events. The list below gives some of the main events that we see as being put forward, but it is not exhaustive, and students should still apply for other events which fall outside these categories but are still educational. The possible range of events for which OCASA may provide funding includes the following:
- Regular study group costs
- Portfolio review events
- Student led study visits – entry to ticketed events for the lead student will be free if over 10 students attend
- Study visits with curator/artists, etc.
- Summer and weekend schools
- Google hangouts
- Videos made of artist talks, lecture and workshops
- Student networking events in more remote areas
- Student led creative projects.
Suggestions for these may be sent to the CSA, firstname.lastname@example.org. The process for applying for funds for tutor led events is set out below.
Tutor led events
The OCA will establish a source list of information about upcoming exhibitions and events which may be of interest. This register will include details of both national and international events, and will include galleries, performances, exhibitions etc., Tutors are requested to let the CSA know about forthcoming events as they hear about them throughout the year.
In August, tutors will begin to decide which events merit a study visit and express an interest via the CSA. They may also suggest that a student-led visit is appropriate rather than a tutor led one.
- The CSA will then put out information about the event on the weareoca.com study events page to gauge student interest. A lead time of 4-6 weeks is required between the tutor’s expression of interest and the event itself.
- Assuming enough students wish to attend, the CSA will assess and approve funds, unless the figure is over £500, in which case the request should go to OCASA for approval.
- The maximum amount that tutors may claim for each event is £200, to include travel and VAT.
- Funding applications may continue to be submitted throughout the year, providing there is still money available within the subject pot.
- The emphasis here is on tutors being proactive in seeking out events they would like to see student attend, and which may produce sufficient student interest.
Student led events
The procedure for student led events is somewhat different, and there is more interaction between students and OCASA for this pathway. Each OCASA subject rep will coordinate the activity for their student cohort and applications may be made throughout the year. Where a subject rep post is vacant, requests should be made via email@example.com
Applications for funding should be made first on this application form to the CSA, copied to the relevant student rep. When an event is multi-disciplinary, any of the involved subject reps may be approached.
- Reps will circulate applications to all members of the OCASA committee for approval (See Approval Process below for details).
- On approval, if given, the lead student should contact the CSA to advertise details on the study events calendar. Events need to be advertised for at least four weeks prior to their happening in order to be seen by as many students as possible. The CSA will keep the lead student up to date with potential numbers during this period.
- Lead students should send out joining instructions to participants at least two weeks before the event.
- Casual student led events of the type where a group informally decide to meet up to visit an exhibition do not generally require funding and will not be considered. Further requirements are set out in General Principles.
- The OCA President, Tutor Rep and Treasurer and CSA will review activity monthly, and make adjustments as necessary.
- In general, if a subject rep has not allocated all the subjects funding by April, the Committee may decide to redistribute it among other subjects.
All applications, whether from tutors or students need to go through the correct funding gateway, which is by sending the attached form to the CSA at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CSA will upload applications to a central database for consideration and a decision. Subject reps will be informed and should send a holding response and a likely date for approval within 48 hours of a request for funding.
Decisions about the funding of student applications require approval by more committee members, as the amount increases.
- For requests under £300, approval can be given by 2 committee members, one of whom may be the subject rep concerned.
- For requests of £300 – £500, approval must be given by 4 committee members
- Requests of over £500, for example to fund summer schools, will be assessed by the whole committee.
- If, by the beginning of April, a subject rep has not allocated all their funding to projects, then 4 committee members may agree to reallocate it to other subjects.
Time is clearly of the essence in many cases, so each part of the approval chain must be as timely and efficient as possible. Subject reps should prepare for their absences, either by appointing a deputy to deal with requests while they are away, or alternatively asking OCASA to cover for them, via email@example.com
Tutors will be paid for their study visits via OCA Finance. For student led visits, payments cannot be made to lead students. When tickets are required for an event, the CSA will arrange payment for the required number of tickets, and in other cases, OCASA will expect to pay outside people or organisations direct, on submission of an invoice to the CSA.
All student event leaders are required to submit a report (which may be in blog form) of the event within two weeks of its completion. This should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion on the OCASA website.
Any queries should be directed to the relevant subject rep for students and to the Course Support Adviser for tutors.