Taking a look back at our fight for funding

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, throughout August we will be looking back at the Association's history.

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, throughout August we will be looking back at the Association's history and the wonderful archival material we have from our first 50 years.

The OU Students Association came into being following much campaigning and hard work by OU students for an independent body to represent them, so it was only natural that campaigning became a cornerstone of Association life following our foundation. From named degrees to loans for part-time students, there have been numerous opportunities for OU students to join campaigns for parity with their peers at traditional universities, but one that really stands out is the long fight for grants.

We delved into our archives to share a colourful selection of posters, flyers and even songs which illustrate the struggle faced by past Association members:

The image shows two leaflets. The text on the first one reads: Adult Education. Grant us the Right to Study. The second one reads: OUSA MANDATORY GRANTS CAMPAIGN. Education is free until you realise you need it. Campaign now for Mandatory Grants for part-time students.

OUSA Campaigns – Fees and Grants

Tune: – Blaydon Races

1. I went to pay my course fees, ‘twas on the ninth of June
Nineteen hundred and eighty-three on a sunny afternoon
I took a hundred pounds with me, but it was not enough
“I’m skint,” I said, but in reply all they said was, “That’s tough”.

Chorus: OU students come and join the Campaign
If they give us all a grant, we’ll treat you not champagne
We’ve got to fight the massive cuts with everything we’ve got
Cos if we don’t, they’ll cut and cut until they’ve got the lot.

2. I asked my LEA to help to furnish me with money
But they just laughed, they thought I was trying to be funny
“Go to the University, the Tech college or Poly
If you’re a full-time student, we’ll give you all the lolly”.


3. I’m going to FAF and OUSET, they’re all the help I’ve got
But how much cash have they to give? The answer’s not a lot
I’ve scrimped and saved and worked so hard to get my degree
So help me out – one day it could be you instead of me.


Tune: – Men of Harlech

OU students start campaigning
Worry MP’s by complaining
We can see our numbers waning
Fees must not go up

Money’s getting tighter, be a Fair Fees Fighter
If you don’t, you’ll surely find your pockets are getting lighter

Write until your arms start to ache
Your University is at stake
Them or us? It’s them that will break
OU will survive.

Tune: – I belong to Glasgow

I belong to OUSA, take a look at me
You may not believe it to look at but I’m getting a degree
I’ve taken a second mortgage out to pay for my course next year
But if fees increase like they’ve done in the past
I’ll be forced to give up my beer.

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The Editorial team.


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