Door 24: We’re Planning a Birthday party!

In 2022, the Open University Students Association turns 50, and we can't wait to get the celebrations underway. Read on for a sneak peek of what's to come.


On Christmas eve you're probablygearing up for the big day tomorrow, but here at the Association we've got an even bigger party planned…

What are we celebrating?

In May 1972, after years of hard work to establish an independent body to represent Open University students, the formation of the OU Students Association was approved by the University Council. Seven months later, on 16 December, the Association’s first President Millicent Marsland, alongside 33 other elected Association council members, travelled from across the OU regions to meet for the first time at Walton Hall.

Since our inception, the Association has worked closely with the University to ensure that the student voice is heard. Our focus today is still closely aligned with the aims of our founders, making sure that what we do and how we do it, is guided by the needs, hopes and aspirations of our students members – and this is something we think needs to be celebrated!

What’s the plan?

Our 2022 biennial Conference, which is being held between Friday, 21 January and Sunday, 23 January, will see the launch of our new branding and exclusive merchandise in keeping with the refreshed design. This will be followed by an online celebration of everything students love about the Association in February, so we are hoping you will be able to share your experiences with us, to bring a ray of positivity to the cold and dark days. Please do get in touch if you have a story you’d like to share with us. 

We plan to celebrate a diverse range of student stories across the year and want to create a legacy to take into the next 50 years – not to mention our aim to raise £50,000 for the Open University Students Educational Trust, which has supported students suffering from financial hardship for 40 years.

How can I get involved?

For now, you can sign up to our mailing list, so that you are the first to hear the latest 50th plans. We’ll be updating our website throughout the year with upcoming activities and events, so please do keep your eyes peeled. If you’d like to share your story or have any questions please email oustudents-50@open.ac.uk – we look forward to hearing from you!


This article is part of an ongoing series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OU Students Association.

Please visit the OU students website to find out more about the events planned to celebrate this occasion, and how you can get involved.


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Reiss Miller

Reiss is a member of the Students Association staff team.

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