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Strides towards positive change 1982-1991

(page 1 of 4)

Written by the Students Association Digital Exhibition project team

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The logo for the Open University Students Educational Trust - OUSET
Image : OU Student Educational Trust logo
Date: 2017
An OUSET (Open University Students Educational Trust) table at the Open University Students Association Conference in 1990.
Image : OUSET table 1990
Date: 1990

The Foundation of OUSET

The Open University Students Educational Trust (OUSET) was established by the Students Association in 1982. Its purpose is to provide OU students experiencing financial hardship with support, enabling them to complete their qualification. Its Board of Trustees is chaired by the immediate past President of the Students Association and is mostly made up of student trustees.

Since its inception, OUSET has supported students who are not eligible for other types of funding by offering financial assistance for study related costs such as travel expenses, books, IT equipment and module fees. Previously, OUSET contributed towards student summer school fees and TV license fees. With the help of OUSET, students in need have been able to continue their higher education studies.

The Students Association has hosted a variety of fundraising events in aid of OUSET over the years. In 1987, OUSET benefitted from an Open Day where £500 in funds were raised from a raffle. Similarly, in the 1990s, students took on the coast to coast cycling challenge for OUSET.

A testimony from a student who received support from the charity shows the necessity of the service OUSET provides, “I gained distinctions in all modules and also won a prize. Had I not received money from OUSET at that stage, I would have had to give up my studies."

Today, OUSET continues to support students in financial need. As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the Students Association aimed to create a legacy, by shining the spotlight on student stories from across the decades and raising £50,000 for the Open University Students Educational Trust.


Strides towards positive change 1982-1991 (page 1 of 4)