The OCA Student Association announced yesterday that Teresa Lanham will become the new OCASA President in February. Teresa, a level one photography student was nominated by fellow students and elected unopposed. I look forward to meeting Teresa and working with her.
Teresa will be the third OCASA President and will succeed John Umney who has held the position since November 2012. John took over the role just as the OCA, in common with other Higher Education providers, was coming to terms with the revolution in funding that took place in September 2012. It is worth remembering that the changes at that time saw undergraduate arts education move from a subject which received enhanced funding to one which received no direct funding.
Together with fellow OCASA committee members, John has worked tireless for students’ interests, arguing successfully for the creation of Course Support Advisers at the OCA Head Office and urging us to consider the needs of all students and in particular those for whom the OCA’s open learning model was the only effective option to study the arts at an advanced level.
As the student representative on the OCA Board of Trustees, John’s considered input has won him considerable respect and influence. On the finely balanced decision about whether the OCA should develop a Music degree, John ensured the voice of existing students was heard and was a decisive influence. He will be a hard act to follow.