It's our birthday!

16 May 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the approval of the formation of an Open University Students Association.

A host of images from the Association's past, with a rainbow logo in the middle saying '50 years of

16 May 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the approval of the formation of an Open University Students Association.

The Open University celebrated its 50th birthday on 23 April 2019, but what many people don’t know is that it took a three-year-long battle by our pioneer students for the establishment of a body to represent them, just as their fellow students had in traditional universities. 

After much campaigning and hard work, in 1972 the University’s Council approved the formation of an Open University Students Association on 16 May, which is why this date is so special to us. It would take another seven months before our first President Millicent Marsland and 33 other elected Student Representatives, would travel from across the OU regions to meet for the first time at Walton Hall.

To celebrate this very special occasion, we want to raise £50,000 for the Open University Students Educational Trust, otherwise known as OUSET. In a nutshell, OUSET changes lives for the better – helping students to complete their studies and access the brilliant benefits higher education provides. 

OUSET provides vital support for Open University students who can’t receive funding anywhere else to continue their studies. This is done by: 

  • supporting students with paying module fees. 
  • assisting with costs relating to study – for example: travel, IT equipment or set books. 

Without OUSET, Open University students in severe financial hardship would fall through the net, and likely be unable to ever complete their qualification(s), so by raising this money we want to help an even greater number of students to achieve their study goals. 

All donations made via our Just Giving page from May 2022 to May 2023 will count towards this target, as will all profits from the 50th anniversary merchandise sold on our online OU Students Shop. 

OUSET and the students it benefits are always grateful for the support received from OU students, staff and friends, and any kind donations are sincerely appreciated.